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The Psychology of Bribery and Corruption

This one’s a head-shaker. In 2011 and 2012, Robert Lustyik, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent on the counterintelligence squad in White Plains, New York (now retired), and his childhood friend Johannes Thaler, a shoe salesman at a Macy’s, solicited bribes in exchange for confidential government information that Lustyik had access to at work—and they texted and emailed about the plan in great detail the entire time.

An acquaintance of Thaler’s from Macy’s, Rizve Ahmed, paid the pair $1,000 for the FBI’s “Suspicious Activity Report” about his political rival back in his home of Bangladesh. But Lustyik and Thaler wanted much more than that; they discussed how they would sign Ahmed up on a kind of “contract” for a $40,000 “retainer” as well as a recurring monthly payment of $30,000. They even intimated that they could set up a secret informant to spy on Ahmed’s enemy, and then bring criminal charges against him.

via The Psychology of Bribery and Corruption – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society.

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