Crowdfunding Not Ethical Per US Gov

Although it doesn’t look like any furloughed Federal worker will be prosecuted, the Office of Government Ethics has published a “reminder” in the case of further shutdowns aimed particularly at those who crowdfunded some of their missing salaries.

Federal workers left unpaid or furloughed by the extended partial government shutdown stand in line for fresh food and coffee at the World Central Kitchen in Washington

In fact, the OGE noted that crowdfunding sites pose particular traps since the ethics rules say a federal “employee may not accept any gift given (1) because of the employee’s official position or (2) from a prohibited source.”

Moreover, you can’t accept a free meal (eg, from Jose Andres) “as long as the offer is extended to all federal employees” but not just to furloughed employees.

And those no interest loans offered by your (Federal!) credit union, not good unless offered to all Federal employees.

Consider yourself warned now!

The ethics opinion is here: https://www.oge.gov/web/OGE.nsf/All+Advisories/9D4E04812177E26C852583A2005856F0/$FILE/LA-19-01.pdf?open

About JeffKoeppel

I am a corporate/securities attorney in the Washington, DC area. Prior to joining the firm, I was a Senior Attorney Advisor in the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. I am a member of the Bars of the States of Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia. You can also follow this blog on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jeffrey-a-koeppel/0/63/5a9
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