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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.



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.


References in periodicals archive ?
Further investigation is underway from him and SIU of Islamabad police has accelerated efforts against extortionists.
extortionist has developed into a top-class sprinter this term, going down to narrow defeats in his last two starts, the King George V Stakes at Goodwood and nunthorpe Stakes at York.
As, too, will stablemate Extortionist, who runs in the Betfred King George Stakes.
Meanwhile, in an effort to curb the growing trend of extortions, authorities have formed a task force, comprising security forces and business leaders, that will come down heavily on new extortionists who have become active with the start of Ramadan.
The extortionist demanded ` 5 crore as ' protection money' from the businessman and his family," a senior police officer said.
The extortionist turned out to be a mid-level manager at a factory hired by the manufacturer to produce bona fide goods.
Scotland Yard has spent two months trying to track the extortionist.
Japan Airlines (JAL), suspected of making illegal payments totaling more than 20 million yen to a group of extortionists, made payments worth 7 million yen on an annual basis to another bunch of racketeers, police sources said Tuesday.
Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Squad have been playing a secret game of cat and mouse with the extortionist, who they say is "highly intelligent, inventive, resourceful and devious".
Extortionist did not even spare high profile government officials and owner of small business as an explosion of Improvised Explosive Device took place near house of a trader in the jurisdiction of Yakatoot Police Station on Saturday morning.