15 Politicians Who Were Caught Taking Bribes

List of politicians who have been caught taking bribes. Politicians are elected with the purpose of serving office with the need of his or her constituents on their mind. They’re supposed to do what’s best for the people of their district and represent their needs. However, politics often tempts greedy and corrupt people to take office in hopes of using their political power to gain influence in the world and fill their bank accounts. The biggest political scandals are often about politicians who have taken or solicited bribes for their own benefit.

Bribery is such an offensive crime to most people because politicians are not supposed to think of their own needs before the needs of those who elected them. Bribes are usually taken to push forward a piece of legislation that is beneficial to a business person or corporation. Sometimes bribes are taken to help put somebody unsavory in office or in a position of power which they didn’t earn. No matter what the reason, bribery in politics is not only worth jail time, it earns the distrust of every constituent.

Which politicians have been caught taking bribes? This list features many politicians who have been caught taking bribes, many of whom served time.


  • The 39th Vice President of the United States, Spiro Agnew, was investigated in 1973 for extortion, tax fraud, conspiracy, and bribery. He was accused of accepting more than 100k in bribes. As a result, Agnew resigned, leading to Gerald Ford's appointment to office.

    • Birthplace: Towson, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • William Boyland, Jr.
    Video: YouTube

    William Boyland, Jr.

    The Assemblyman William Boyland was among the eight men accused of taking millions in bribes to keep Walmart out of NYC, along with other corrupt legislative issues. Although he was acquitted of federal corruption charges, he was arrested on a separate bribery charge. In 2013, he plead not guilty to the bribery and additional mail fraud charges.
  • Marcelo Co
    Video: YouTube

    Marcelo Co

    In January 2013, Moreno Valley City Council Man Marcelo Co was caught on tape accepting a $2.36 milllon bribe from an undercover FBI agent. The agent was pretending to be a land broker who needed council land-use decisions that would help his business. The bribe was the largest bribe ever accepted in a U.S. sting operation. He plans to plead guilty to bribery and tax fraud.
  • William J. Jefferson
    Photo: United States Congress / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    In 2005, Rep William J. Jefferson was video taped accepting $100k from an FBI informant. Nonetheless, he was re-elected that year. In 2007, he was indited on 16 felony charges. He received 13 years in jail, the longest sentence for bribery.
    • Birthplace: Lake Providence, Louisiana, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Eric Stevenson
    Video: YouTube

    Eric Stevenson

    Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was caught up in a bribery scandal when his crooked partner in crime turned into an FBI informant. He took bribes in exchange for pushing forward legislation to help those who bribed him. Stevenson has been charged but has yet to be sentenced. 
    • Birthplace: New York City, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America
  • Dennis Malone
    Video: YouTube

    Dennis Malone

    Frank Sparaco, a Republican Rockland County legislator, was offered multiple bribes to help put Dennis Malone, a Democratic candidate hopeful, on the ballot to become Clarkstown Highway Superintendent. Sparaco immediately went to officials and made secret audio recordings to catch Malone in the act.