61 Legal Definition of 'Extortion Under Color Of Official Right'


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EXTORTION UNDER COLOR OF OFFICIAL RIGHT

The wrongful taking by a public officer of money or property not due to him or his office, whether or not the taking was accomplished by force, threats, or use of fear. In other words, the wrongful use of otherwise valid official power may convert lawful action into unlawful extortion. So, if a public official misuses his office by threatening to take or withhold official action for the wrongful purpose of inducing a victim to part with property, such a threat would constitute extortion even though the official was already duty bound to take or withhold the action in question.

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