extortion

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extortion,

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.

Extortion

 

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.

IU. B. UTEVSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
has given the offender the power to harm his victims." (89) For that reason, such an offender should be singled out for a "special brand of criminal liability." (90) The court acknowledged that private citizens pretending to be public officials can cause just as much harm as an extortioner who is in fact a public official.
Her father says "this racket puts hundreds of citizens at the mercy of extortioners".
Donald Rayfield reminds us that Russia "is ruled by a man who is, by career and choice, a successor to Yagoda and Beria," and today's FSB "has taken, in alliance with bandits and extortioners, the commanding heights of the country's government and economic riches, and goes on lying to, and when expedient murdering, its citizens." See, Simon Sebag Montefiore, book review of Stalin and His Hangmen: an Authoritative Portrait of a Tyrant and Those Who Served Him, Viking, 2004, reprinted in Johnson's Russia List, No.8114, Article 6, March 13,2004.
And what the sanctification is which is conferred upon us by the condescension of God, the apostle declares, when he says "neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor deceivers, nor drunkards, nor revelers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector.
One hundred years ago, the leading critic of "salary loan lending" called such people "sharks, leeches and remorseless extortioners." Today's consumer advocates call payday lenders "predatory" and "legal loan sharks."
Let others follow this noble example, whilst speculators and extortioners, if they have sensibility, will, with crimson blushes, hang their heads in shame.
Consider how much less affecting we would find Misella's plight were she the "drudge of extortioners and the sport of drunkards." Personification swells the enormity of her persecutors and strengthens the dignity of her complaint.
They are seen as anew group of extortioners who stand in the way of their economic advancement (Ibid.: 54).(8)
Neither fornicators not idolaters nor adulterers, not the effeminate nor liars with mankind nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor railers nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God.'"
Fraudsters, extortioners, criminals, terrorists, or simply the deranged may attack any company through its voice network.