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  • Writer's pictureLeRoy Cossette

Unexplored Swamp: Lesser-Known Forms of Federal Corruption

a photo of a man with handcuffs showing the effect of lesser-known forms of federal corruption
a photo of a man with handcuffs

Image by Racool_studio on Freepik

Corruption isn’t always conspicuous. Often, lesser-known forms of federal corruption may pass unassuming eyes. Yet, while unobtrusive, this doesn’t mean they don’t erode the public’s trust.

While bad governance is fortunately not something every country experiences, the cost of corruption can still be reflected worldwide. It’s not new for leaders to cite figures denoting the damage corruption has caused, strengthening the fight against it. A popular estimate reached a whopping $2.6 trillion, 5% of the global GDP. While 5% may not seem consequential, picture losing a fraction of what you earn yearly. It may not take most, but it will also hinder any progress.

Some may be blessed with decent leaders, but federal corruption will still find its way to seep through the goodness of their countries. Its effect can be universally interconnected, such that one struggling country will influence another with how widespread corruption’s consequences may be.

When You Think ‘Corruption,’ What Comes to Mind?

Bad governance.

These two words capture how corruption is portrayed in people’s minds. When they encounter the term, it’s easy to attribute it to a country’s quality of government. After all, no country would suffer from a lack of resources and its systems going haywire, not unless the government has messed up.

Corruption only happens when selfish individuals run countries, not for their progress and the public’s relief. Instead, they do so for personal satisfaction. They drain countries of their resources and spaces for development to gain more power and assets – the economy plummets while their riches skyrocket. Corruption is the absolute betrayal of the public’s trust for a limited crowd’s pleasure.

A Common Representation of Abuse

It sounds sadistic because it is.

Corruption is immoral, for it’s a deliberate creation of crises.

Federal corruption takes multiple forms, depending on the authorities’ malicious intent. Yet overall, it’s the product of the government’s power play, an abuse of its power.

In his book American Insanity, LeRoy E. Cossette refers to federal corruption as a criminal act occurring because of the government’s apathetic attitude toward its people. It’s immoral because federal officials don’t bat an eye despite knowing the consequences of their actions. They choose to violate the law by demanding solicits, accepting bribery, practicing fraud, and robbing the whole country.

What’s unlawful becomes lawful for these officials’ gain.

More often than not, these behaviors are seemingly done with pride, a publicized display of their iniquity and government incompetence. We say “more often” because there are instances when corruption is covert, a stealthy and sly execution of federal abuse. However, this isn’t because they’re embarrassed but because they understand they can get more with calm movements.

What Are These Lesser-Known Forms of Federal Corruption?

Lesser-known forms of federal corruption exist. But while they’re not as commonly practiced, this doesn’t mitigate their dangers. The effects of corruption don’t depend on the frequency of the method used. Whether typical or the lesser-known forms of federal corruption, it still erodes the public’s trust equally. Hence, there’s a constant need for the public to be educated about covert signs when governmental power is gradually being abused.

Here are some examples of what a covert abuse looks like:

Constituent Service Abuse

This federal abuse happens when the personal gain is disguised as the whole’s integral benefit. Elected officials use their authority to create systems or draw laws that benefit them while posing to be concerned about the public’s interest and development. For instance, they will execute projects to benefit themselves or their district over the nation. They consciously divert resources, cheating and dissolving the public’s trust.


Nepotism and Cronyism

These concepts aren’t technically illegal but are still lesser-known forms of federal corruption. This is primarily because there are still traces of power abuse engraved deep within these practices. When government officials can promote or give preferential treatment to their families, it gives the latter an unfair advantage.


Hence, the government serves their families or friends instead of serving the country. Adding to this disadvantage, there’s also the possibility of the previously corrupt leader passing down questionable virtues to their family if they run.

Over time, it cages countries to a cycle of corruption, nurturing a culture of mediocrity.

Information Asymmetry

The government holds the highest positions in the country. Whatever information goes in or out passes them for verification and sharing with the public. However, there will be instances when these documents will benefit them. Hence, instead, they will opt to withhold information for their benefit or manipulate reports for their personal gain. This is one of the lesser-known forms of federal corruption that undermines the public’s trust.

This practice not only cheats the documents but also reflects the lack of transparency and honesty. Once the public becomes aware of the decisions, the lack of informed and sound judgment will make them question their government.


This is one of the lesser-known forms of federal corruption that may initially seem harmless but will result in significant consequences. Logrolling happens when legislators support each other’s proposed bills so that they can be passed easily. It also happens when authorities team up instead of supporting bills that benefit the nation. Such a practice leads to compromised integrity and poorly conceived systems that only benefit a few parties, not the public.


These are only some of the lesser-known forms of federal corruption. While they commonly happen covertly, their impacts are still far-reaching. Hence, it’s essential to recognize the signs and understand what the nation needs to fend these officials away.

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