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Federal Thefts

Scheme The scheme must have as its object the defrauding of another or the obtaining of property for one’s own benefit. This includes all property subject to a theft offense as well as certain non-tangible things, the loss of which directly results in harm to the victim.

C. Extortion under Color of Official Right The Hobbs Act proscribes extortion affecting interstate commerce, whether by “wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.” Extortion under color of official right is committed when a public official knowingly engages in wrongful use of his office to obtain money or benefits not due him or his office and thereby affects interstate commerce.
Public Official A public official is anyone who is publicly elected to office or who works for the government on the federal, state, or local level.
Knowingly It must be shown that one knew or should reasonably have known that one was wrongfully using the public office and that this induced the victim to give up the money or offer the benefits.
Money or Benefits The object of this offense is the same as for extortion.
Affects Interstate Commerce This is a threshold element which is not of great importance. It does serve, though, to prevent prosecution for receipt of minor benefits or services.

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