Extortion is a crime that can be prosecuted at the federal level. The act of making a threat that leads to collecting something of value from a person in exchange for not doing something negative, often but not always violent, is extortion. It does not have to be money that is collected; any property or even service meets the criteria of the law. This is a crime usually associated with street gangs and organized crime. It becomes a federal offense when interstate or foreign commerce is affected. A transmission or communication can also change the jurisdiction from the state to the federal system. Because of the potentially violent nature of this crime, it blurs the lines between white collar crime and violent crime. The Attorney General’s guidelines give the FBI the authority and responsibility to investigate extortion crimes.
18 U.S. Code § 875 – Interstate communications reads in part:
Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
If you believe you are under investigation, or have been indicted or arrested, take every precaution to protect yourself, including retaining an experienced federal defense attorney. Under no circumstances is it in your best interest to make a statement to an agent without an attorney present to advise you. Tim Bower Rodriguez will stand beside you and ensure that you are not intimidated and will fight for you till the very end. The United States Attorney’s Office will not give you an inch of leeway, and you need an aggressive federal defense attorney that will stand up for your rights.