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in law, unlawful demanding or receiving by an officer, in his official capacity, of any property or money not legally due to him. Examples include requesting and accepting fees in excess of those allowed to him by statute or arresting a person and, with corrupt motives, demanding money or property unlawfully under pretense of duty. The taking of money or property is generally an essential element of the crime. In most states of the United States, extortion is more widely defined to include the obtaining of money or property of another by inducing his consent through wrongful use of fear, force, or authority of office; blackmailblackmail,
in law, exaction of money from another by threat of exposure of criminal action or of disreputable conduct. The term was originally used for the tribute levied until the 18th cent.
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, ransomransom,
price of redemption demanded by the captor of a person, vessel, or city. In ancient times cities frequently paid ransom to prevent their plundering by captors. The custom of ransoming was formerly sanctioned by law.
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, and threatthreat,
in law, declaration of intent to injure another by doing an unlawful act, with a view to restraining his freedom of action. A threat is distinguishable from an assault, for an assault requires some physical act that appears likely to eventuate in violence, whereas a
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 of force are included under this definition.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in criminal law, a crime against property consisting of the demand to turn over property, or the rights to property, under threat of violence to the individual who controls or guards the property or to persons close to him, as well as under threat of making public damaging information about him or destroying the property. In this case, persons close to the owner include not only relatives but also other citizens who, threatened by violence, could influence the owner. Soviet law establishes criminal responsibility for extortion of state or societal property, as well as private property of citizens (arts. 95 and 148 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and corresponding articles of the Criminal Codes of the other Union republics). Extortion is not covered in the codes of the Kirghiz, Uzbek, or Ukr SSR’s.

As distinct from such crimes as theft and robbery, in extortion the threat of violence is directed toward transferring property to the criminal and not toward overcoming the resistance of the victim; for this reason, when the threat of violence is made and the property is then handed over, the guilty party is responsible for both extortion and theft or extortion and robbery, depending on the nature of the violence.

The threat of exposing damaging information is called blackmail. For the crime of extortion the damaging information can be either real or false and slanderous. For example, according to the criminal codes of the Byelorussian, Kirghiz, and Tadzhik SSR’s, blackmail includes demanding property or the rights to property under the threat of exposing information that the victim wishes to keep secret. Extortion can be the means of committing some other crime, such as bribery.

Extortion of government or societal property is punished by loss of liberty for up to four years; extortion of personal property is punished by imprisonment for up to three years or corrective labor for up to one year.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
BEIRUT: The Internal Security Forces arrested a young man for extorting a minor, a statement from the agency said Friday.
The post Couple arrested on suspicion of extorting pension from mother-in-law appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
On a tip off, a team of Sabzi Mandi police station headed by Sub-Inspector Mohammad Basheer reached Sector I-10 and found some persons extorting money from the drivers of public transport vehicles of inter-city and outer city routes.
He said he gave the hard disk to one of his friends and told him to keep it and use it from time to time to threaten the woman for the purpose of extorting money from her.
Toyota and Nissan said they paid off the same alleged corporate gangsters accused of extorting payments from Japan Airlines.
Summary: New Delhi [India], Apr 4 (ANI): Two persons including one girl have been arrested after a racket allegedly involved in extorting people through honey trapping was busted, police said on Thursday.
Police said they responded to a concerned citizen's complaint about two traffic enforcers flagging down motorists along Jose Abad Santos Avenue and extorting money.
FAISALABAD -- The police claimed to have arrested a swindler gang on the charge of extorting money from shopkeepers in downtown area of the city.
Makati Police precinct chief axed for extorting from 'habal-habal' !-- -- Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2019 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines The commander of a police precinct in Makati City, whose deputy was arrested Thursday for allegedly extorting money from "habal-habal" drivers in Taguig City, was removed from his post yesterday.
FAISALABAD -- The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a human trafficker on the charge of extorting money from a citizen.
According to spokesperson Sindh Rangers the accused were extorting money from the traders by using foreign phone numbers.
Summary: The Lebanese Army arrested a gang in Akkar's Fnaydeq Tuesday on charges of extorting protection money from citizens.