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Extortion

A Helpful Guide to Extortion Law

A Helpful Guide to Extortion Law

Under United States law, there are several characteristics that a crime must have to be considered extortion. The line between extortion, robbery and false pretenses is very thin, which is a type of fraud. To extort someone is somewhat different than to commit fraud against someone. False pretenses relies on an individual lying to get something from an individual, most commonly money. 
 
 
Extortion does not necessarily involve lying. To extort someone is when one individual threatens the other with violence or other tactics as a way to get what they want. Extortion is a Federal crime and is often classified as a felony.
 
 
To extort someone is to make them fearful that if they do not comply with one's demands they will be injured. The harm that is threatened is usually physical or professional harm. Whether or not one follows through with the extortion threat does not matter. Trying and failing to extort someone is still considered extortion.
 
 
Threatening to extort someone and not following through with the threat is also still considered illegal. This is particularly true if the individual being extorted signed a contract agreeing with the demands. Since they were coerced or technically forced into the contract, the contract is null and void. The crime of extortion has still been committed.         
 
 
There are several laws that come together that define extortion. One characteristic of extortion is to threaten to physically harm the person being extorted. Physically harming another individual, such as a family member, is also extortion. If an individual brings harm to someone's property because of the individual's failure to get what they wanted, that is extortion. 
 
 
Physical harm is not the only way to extort someone. An extortionist can threaten to ruin one's reputation, which is especially harmful to professionals such as politicians. Usually, when someone uses this method to extort someone, they threaten to release private and damaging information. 
 
 
It is also common for an extortionist to publicly claim that the individual or someone close to them has committed a crime. A damaged reputation can negatively affect every area of one's life.       
 
 
The above-mentioned issues constitute only the threat of physically harming someone or damaging one's reputation. Those crimes can be very serious. Going through with the extortion threats is even more serious. If violence is used to extort someone, the punishment can be very severe. Other types of extortion are also taken very seriously.
 
 
While extortion is often compared with other crimes, it has its own characteristics. The threat of harm, whether physical or other, is not an immediate threat. Extortion is a common crime that individuals involved in organized crime are often accused of committing.

Overview of Loan Sharking

Overview of Loan Sharking

The act of loan sharking is providing unsecured loans to someone. However, the loan shark, who is the lender of the loans, uses an illegal method of charging high interest on the unsecured loan. The interest rates that are used are illegally high. However, the high interest rates are not the only aspect of loan sharking that is illegal.
If an individual cannot repay the loan when they are supposed to, a loan shark will often use the threat of physical violence to retrieve the money. If a threat does not work, then actual violence will often be used to obtain the money owed. Like a bank, a loan shark may confiscate one’s property from them as a means of retrieving the money. Unlike a bank, a loan shark will confiscate these things using the threat of violence or by committing violence against the person. A loan shark will also be willing to take things like jewelry, while a bank will not.
A loan shark will primarily operate in poor and low income neighborhoods. People with low incomes living paycheck to paycheck are more likely to need a quick emergency loan. They are also unlikely to qualify for a bank loan. That’s where the process of loan sharking comes in. A loan shark will feed off of the desperation of low income individuals who are more likely to be in need of emergency funds and unable to access a loan from anyone. The interest rates are so high that a loan shark may charge a 100% markup at times. The loans are usually small and meant to pay for things like food or rent.
There are different types of loan sharks, and they do not usually work with low income families. A loan shark who is a member of an organized crime family will often make a lot of money by loan sharking to individuals who have more money at their disposal. A person may be borrowing money to use for a number of things including gambling or business investments.
The amount of money that is borrowed from a loan shark involved with organized crime is usually much higher than the money that a loan shark working in low income areas lends. It must be paid back on a schedule that is set up by the loan shark. The interest rates are also incredibly high. If a borrower does not pay a loan shark involved with organized crime when they are supposed to, the borrower will almost definitely be injured or even killed.
Loan sharking is illegal because of the ways that the money must be paid back. The illegally high interest rates and possibility of physical violence may not stop someone who feels that they are desperately in need of money. However, becoming involved with a loan shark is a dangerous action.

A Brief Overview of Extortion

A Brief Overview of Extortion

Background
 
 
Extortion is crime that is committed when someone intentionally threatens to do damage to another person unless the extortionist is given what they want. The damage that is threatened does not necessarily have to be of a violent nature. Although it is common to use violence as the threat, the extortionist could also threaten to ruin one's reputation by telling a secret or even starting a damaging rumor.
 
 
A person who is in a position of authority such as a police officer can extort someone accusing them of a committing a crime. Usually, the extortionist is after someone's money or property. However, sometimes they are after information about a particular thing. Extortion is a serious crime that sometimes is classified as a misdemeanor. However, usually it is a felony.
 
 
Law
 
 
Two other crimes that closely resemble extortion are robbery and false pretenses. However, the crime of extortion has particular characteristics that set it apart from the other two crimes. For someone to commit extortion, the threat of harm, whether professional, physical, or personal, must be made. If the threatened harm is done immediately with no warning, then the crime is robbery and not extortion. False pretenses involves knowingly lying to someone to gain something. Extortion is a Federal, not State crime.
 
 
Extortion as a Federal Crime
 
 
A Federal crime is different from a State crime. Federal crimes are often considered white collar crimes. That means that professionals are likely to commit a crime of that nature. Extortion is often considered to be a white collar crime because of the nature of it. Since extortion is a Federal crime, the State that one lives in has very little to do with the way the case will play out.
 
 
Although some jurisdictions may hand out harsher or more lenient sentences than others, there are still Federal guidelines that must be followed. As a Federal crime, all 50 states in America have laws against extortion.
 
 
Charges
 
 
Charges of extortion vary depending on the circumstances. There are different types of extortion that one can be charged with, although they still fall under the category of extortion. One can be charged with extortion using the threat of physical harm or death. Ruining one's reputation by releasing information is another threat that extortionists make.
 
 
All of the charges have different punishments with different levels of severity. It is possible for an individual to be charged with more than one count of extortion. Other charges will sometimes accompany the charge of extortion, especially when the one accused is involved with organized crime.
 
 
Legal Extortion
 
 
The term legal extortion can be a confusing one. However, it is aptly titled since legal extortion is mostly committed by lawyers. In order to commit legal extortion, an attorney will file a lawsuit against a person or company with no evidence of any wrongdoing. If the lawyer did not research the case before he or she took it, they may be trying to legally extort the one they are suing.
 
 
Legal extortion involves lawsuits that have no merit and no proof of wrongdoing. An attorney will commit legal extortion for financial gain. Many judges who are experienced will recognize a case like this and throw it out, although the attorney may appeal and often does.
 
 
Related Crimes
 
 
There are other crimes that closely resemble the crime of extortion. Robbery and false pretenses were previously mentioned. Other crimes that have similar characteristics of extortion are coercion, loan sharking and price gouging. The general theme of all these crimes is trying to take or taking money from someone in an illegal manner. However, extortion, coercion and false pretenses are not always about financial gain. These three crimes may be committed for other reasons, such as learning confidential information. Robbery, loan sharking and price gouging are always used for financial gain.
 
 
Coercion
 
 
To coerce someone into doing something means that one was forced to do something they do not want to do by the use of threats or violence. This may be something like participating in a crime. The action that one is coerced into does not always involve money and is not always illegal.
 
 
The common thread that coercion has is the knowledge that if one does not participate in something, harm will come to them. If an individual physically harms a person to get them to do something, that is also considered coercion.
 
 
Loan Sharking
 
 
Loan sharking is the process of providing illegally high interest, unsecured loans to people. Along with the fact that the high level of the interest rate alone is illegal, loan sharks almost always use violence to get what they want if they are not paid back. Many loan sharks operate in poor areas where small amounts of money are needed for necessities. They charge incredibly high interest rates and will physically harm someone who does not pay back the loan. It may take an individual a long time to pay off a loan shark due to the fact that the interest rates are so high.
 
 
On a larger scale, loan sharking is a process often associated with organized crime. Usually, the amount of money that is borrowed is a much larger amount than those of low incomes. The consequences of not paying back the loan can be deadly.
 
 
Price Gouging
 
 
There are two forms of price gouging. One is illegal and one is not. Price gouging can occur when a merchant charges unusually high prices for their products. Consumers can complain about this price gouging but the only way to fight it is to shop elsewhere. A free market society has made it impossible for price gouging to be illegal in that form.
 
 
The other form of price gouging is illegal and more harmful. Illegal price gouging involves merchants raising the prices of items in their stores during a time of disaster or a state of emergency. A merchant must keep their prices the same when the area that their store is in the boundaries of is in a state of emergency, such as during or after a hurricane.
 
 
Sentencing and Punishment
 
 
While there are times when punishment for extortion is mild, legal consequences can be very serious. Depending on the nature of the extortion, an individual can face up to ten years in jail. A violent extortion will be punished very severely, especially if one's life was threatened. An individual can also be charged with more than one extortion charge. Some people will only have to pay fines, but most incidents of extortion are considered felonies and will serve a jail sentence.

Using Price Gouging

Using Price Gouging

The term price gouging can be used in multiple ways. It is used by consumers to complain about merchants gouging prices, or raising the prices on products unreasonably high. Price gouging can also be used in a legal sense. Merchants gouging prices on items that are in short supply during times of emergency is illegal in most countries.
There are no laws against the casual price gouging that may occur. While consumers may feel that gouging prices is unfair, the free market system that is used in the United States has made it illegal for the Government to demand that merchants keep their prices below a certain amount. 
People can choose to not purchase any items in a store that is gouging prices, but there is no legal action they can take. Merchants will usually gouge prices on things when the supply of those items are limited. Another common reason why a merchant may get away with price gouging is because of their store’s location.         
Amusement parks and airports are two places where merchants are known for price gouging. This is because any individual that needs to purchase something in one of those two places will not be able to quickly run to another, cheaper store. 
The store with the high prices is usually the only one around. Any other nearby shop or store will usually have the same price gouging method. Because of this, individuals are forced to pay high prices on items that they feel are much more reasonably priced in a different location.
Casual price gouging is usually less common in areas where there are many stores to choose from. The added competition may force a store to lower the prices of their merchandise instead of gouging prices to keep up with the competition.         
Illegal price gouging is very different. Gouging prices on items during times of natural disaster such as a flood or hurricane is illegal. A merchant is breaking the law if he raises the prices of his goods during this time. The prices that were charged for the goods before the disaster must remain the same when an area is in a state of emergency.
A typical reason for price gouging in general is when things are in short supply. However, even though every product may be highly in demand, merchants must keep their prices the same during a state of emergency. In most countries, it is illegal for any price gouging to take place during a state of emergency. It is also considered to be morally wrong.
While both types of price gouging may seem unfair to consumers, only one kind of price gouging is illegal. The Government can step in to stop the merchants from gouging prices during times of emergency, but due to the free market system used in America, there is nothing that can be done about regular price gouging.

Knowing the Sentence and Punishment of Extortion

Knowing the Sentence and Punishment of Extortion

An individual faced with extortion charges may face serious legal punishment. Depending on the nature of the extortion, charges that are brought against the person may be mild or very severe, carrying penalties of everything from fines to jail sentences. Extortion is a Federal crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. The legal punishment that an individual will get depends on many things.
Usually, extortion charges will be classified as felony charges, although there are times when extortion can be considered a misdemeanor. Since the crime of extortion is a Federal crime and not a State crime, all 50 states in America have near identical laws regarding extortion. Therefore, an individual in any of the 50 states can be brought to trial for extortion charges. 
The legal punishment and penalties one faces will depend on the severity of the extortion that was allegedly committed. On a smaller scale, if an individual is convicted of extortion charges they may be subject to heavy fines. Probation is another common legal punishment depending on the seriousness of the extortion charges.       
If the extortion charges are of a more serious nature, the legal punishment can be very serious if the individual is convicted. This is especially true if the individual’s extortion charges are accompanied by other criminal charges as well. If someone is convicted of a serious extortion incident, it is likely that they will face jail time. 
The seriousness of the extortion charges depends on the extent to which one was threatened, what they were threatened with, and the value of what was extorted from them. Usually, the extortionist will demand money. If the amount of money demanded is very high, the extortionist will likely get a longer jail sentence as their legal punishment. 
It can range from two to seven years. If violence was used to extort someone, there is the likelihood of a long jail sentence and the legal punishment that the extortionist faces is usually two to five years in prison. 
The most serious extortion charges that one can be brought up on is if they are accused of extorting someone by making them fear for their life. If an extortionist threatens to kill the person they are extorting, their legal punishment could be a prison sentence of up to ten years. While laws regarding the crime of extortion remain almost exactly the same from State to State, the legal punishment that one will get can depend on the jurisdiction that they are charged in.
The legal punishment for the crime of extortion can range from mild to severe. One can be sentenced to a long prison term, depending on the severity of the extortion charges. Even extortion charges that are not as serious as others are punishable by heavy fines and possible jail time.

Other Robbery Relating Crimes You Should Know

Other Robbery Relating Crimes You Should Know

Extortion is a serious crime and there are other unlawful acts that are very similar to it. Trying to force an individual into giving money, property, or any other service by threatening them in any way is considered to be extortion. 
 
 
However, other crimes, though not the same, do have similar characteristics as the crime of extortion. These three crimes are coercion, loan sharking and price gouging.
 
 
While extortion is used mostly as a way of getting material things or money out of someone, coercion has more to do with getting someone to do a particular thing. These things may not always be unlawful, but the act of coercing someone into doing something can be unlawful. To coerce someone, an individual might use a number of tactics. 
 
 
These tactics often include the threat of some form of physical harm if the individual does not go along with the plan. An individual can coerce someone into doing something or acting a certain way. Someone can be coerced into doing something that is not unlawful. However, it is more likely that the activity will be unlawful due to the fact that the person had to be actually forced to go along with it. 
 
 
The crime of loan sharking is of a different nature. While extortion is a form of blackmail and coercion is a means of trying to force someone to do something, loan sharking involves lending money to individuals and charging an incredibly high interest rate in return. The reason that the interest rate is so high is because the loans are unsecured loans. These loans are unlawful and if one does not pay the loan back, it is likely that they will be violently attacked.
 
 
Loan sharking is not legal. Eventually, the loan shark may try to confiscate other things from the individual who owes money, like some type of property. Loan sharks often set up their unlawful operations in poor communities where property values are low. People with low incomes are almost never approved for a personal loan from a banks.         
 
 
Price gouging is a more complicated issue to deal with. There are some laws against price gouging. Price gouging is driving up the prices of things until the average consumer feels that the price is unfair. While it is unlawful to price gouge when an area is in a state of emergency, price gouging is actually common in other cases. Most countries have made it unlawful to price gouge when supplies are low due to a disaster. There are also actions people can take to report alleged price gouging in their area.
 
 
Most unlawful acts are somehow tied to money, property, or violence. While extortion is not the same as the other three crimes, it does bring up the issue of obtaining money or property in a way that could bring violence or serious problems to individuals.
 
 

Extortion Defined

 Extortion Defined

Extortion is defined as when a person illegally forces someone into giving them money, property, or some kind of service. While there are different types of extortion, it is different from an armed robbery in the sense that no immediate force is used. Extortion often goes hand in hand with bribery. While organized crime groups often practice extortion, there are other ways of extorting someone than threatening violence.
Extortion is a Federal crime. Even the threat of extortion, without actually obtaining anything, is not legal. Extortion isn’t technically robbery, although the two crimes are similar. The threat does not always have to be physical either. A threat to damage one’s reputation, usually a professional reputation, is a common way of committing extortion. 
No form of robbery is considered to be legal. Extortion is no exception. However, there is a form of extortion that is referred to as legal extortion. Legal extortion can refer to a number of things. Most fees for things such as gasoline or particular lawsuits are called legal extortion since the actual characteristics of extortion are not there. A person is not necessarily threatened to comply with the other’s demands, but they may feel that they have to anyway.   
      
Extortion is often compared to the crimes of robbery or false pretenses. False pretenses are when an individual lies to obtain property or money. This falls under the category of fraud. As a Federal crime, extortion is very serious. The crime of extortion is often compared to robbery, and there are some similarities. Robbery involves the use of immediate harm to obtain money, property, or other things from an individual. For the crime of extortion to have taken place, one must pose a verbal or physical threat to the individual that they are extorting. One can commit robbery without either of those things.         
People who are in positions of authority have been known for committing extortion. Since they are in a position of power, it may be easier for those individuals to scare people into complying with their demands. Material goods are not the only things that can be extorted. People may extort information or secret information from an individual. This type of extortion can commonly be done by threatening an individual with private things that the extortionist knows about them. This is also known as abuse of authority. Even with the different name, it still falls under the crime of extortion.
The crime of extortion is a common one amongst certain groups. While there are many different ways to extort someone, the threat of violence or releasing private information are two ways that are commonly used.

Legal Extortion Explained In Depth

Legal Extortion Explained In Depth

Legal extortion is very common in the United States. It is usually associated with lawyers who file lawsuits without gathering any facts or information about the case. This is a common practice for many lawyers, who launch lawsuits against individuals or companies that they know are unfounded as a way to legally extort money from them. Lawsuits that are filed without merit are considered to be lawsuits that are meant to legally extort the defendant.
A fee for services is one that is added to the payee’s overall bill as a way to pay the individual for the services rendered. While the purpose of the actual fee for services varies, any people filing lawsuits will most likely have to pay their attorney a fee for service. Lawyers tend to think of this service as being billable hours. That means that the lawyer can charge a fee for services for every hour they spend working on the case. This can include everything from making phone calls on the plaintiff’s behalf to going over legal documents pertaining to the lawsuit.        
However, even though the lawyer charges an hourly fee for services, it is not the plaintiff that is being legally extorted. Attorneys who file lawsuits with no evidence of their worthiness are usually trying to commit legal extortion. After years of ruling over lawsuits that have fallen into this category, judges are more likely to be able to spot these unnecessary lawsuits. 
If a judge suspects that a lawsuit is unfounded and was only filed for the purpose of legal extortion, the lawyer might get in trouble for even getting involved with the case. The lawsuit will usually be thrown out. Lawyers can appeal and try to fight the lawsuits again, and usually do. However, without any evidence of a problem, it is unlikely that they will win any money for their client.
Legal extortion is the practice of lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits as a way of obtaining financial settlements. Unfortunately, these types of lawsuits are not uncommon in the legal profession. Many lawyers have been known to participate in filing lawsuits without bothering to gather any evidence or see if the case was justified.

Understanding Extortion as a Federal Crime

Understanding Extortion as a Federal Crime

Federal crime laws make any form of extortion illegal, no matter what state one is in. While State crimes tend to have laws that vary from other states, Federal crimes are different. Federal crimes may often be considered white collar crimes. The nickname came from the fact that many working professionals are more likely to be charged with a Federal crime, like extortion.
 
 
The legal definitions and consequences of the Federal crime of extortion have changed a lot over the years. No matter what changes it has undergone, it has still remained a Federal crime, not a State crime.
 
 
Extortion has many different forms. No matter what form extortion is in, it remains a Federal crime. There are many different Federal crimes that are categorized with extortion. The severity of the extortion will make the case a misdemeanor or a felony. Usually, the severity makes the case a felony charge.
 
 
There are different types of extortion. One of the Federal crimes that is a type of extortion is blackmail. It is a form of extortion that uses an individual's private information to get something they want. A blackmailer might coerce a person into giving them money with the threat that secret information will be told. Blackmail can be on a small or large scale, depending on the incident. Extortion can technically be charged in both Federal court and State court. If an individual is convicted of any type of extortion, the punishment can be very severe.
 
 
Many Federal crimes, especially ones like extortion, are considered to be white collar crimes. This means that professionals and members of the upper class are more likely to commit them than others. This is because a Federal crime like blackmail is something wealthier people might do. There would be larger amounts of money at stake. Blackmailing individuals for money if they are poor or of limited income may be pointless.
 
 
Demanding ransom can be a form of extortion or blackmail. Some people, especially children are kidnapped for ransom money. The person kidnapped for ransom will almost always be quite wealthy. They also might come from a wealthy family.
 
 
White collar Federal crimes such as extortion or blackmail can be committed by anyone, although they are more likely to be committed by professionals and the upper class. The exception is members of organized crime families, who often commit Federal crimes like extortion.