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
    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