When are party donations punishable?


The Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) is currently investigating, among other things, managers who are said to have made major donations to affiliated associations. Many companies now ask themselves whether they could have been punished due to party donations. What to pay attention to:

Imprisonment of 1 to 10 years possible

Donations can be punishable if they are aimed at corruption. If the intention is to persuade the party members to carry out a dutiful official business, the elements of the offense of bribery is fulfilled. If the donors hope for a certain (albeit legal) official act of the party or its members, this will be an advantage. Even the so-called “feeder” is a criminal offense. This is a donation made to influence the future administration of the StGB this is dubbed as: “advantage to influence”. The sanction for the listed offenses is imprisonment between one and ten years.

Undeclared donations as a risk

In addition, by making party donations, the fact of disloyalty can also become real. Disloyalty intervenes when a so-called “Ruler” abuses his power over a foreign property and thus damages the “beneficial owner”. For example, if a manager uses his authority to finance a party, the assets of the company may be damaged. This is the case, in particular, if the donation is not confronted with any concrete consideration and thus has no economic benefit. If the accused made an undeclared donation, the property protection of their companies is violated and they would therefore be punished for Disloyalty. Again, depending on the amount of the damage, the penalty is between one and ten years’ imprisonment.

Respond in time to avert harm

Are you worried that this might apply to your business? If you act timely, disloyalty can be remediated. The resulting damage has to be compensated voluntarily and completely (“active remorse”). Create legal security – the experts of the BTP Compliance Team are happy to advise you!