Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; but if the amount so extorted or demanded does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 171 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, § 85,35 Stat. 1104).
Words “or any department or agency” were inserted to eliminate any possible ambiguity as to scope of section. (See definitive section
6 of this title.)
The punishment provided by section
171 of title
18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., of fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than 1 year, or both, was increased for offenses involving more than $100 to conform to Congressional policy reflected in later Acts. See section
4047(e)(1) of title
26, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Internal Revenue Code, and the punishment provision following paragraph (10) of said subsection.
1994—Pub. L. 103–322substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000” after “extortion, shall be” and for “fined not more than $500” after “he shall be”.
1951—Act Oct. 31, 1951, changed punctuation to make section applicable not only to persons falsely representing themselves as Federal officers or employees at the time of extortion or the attempt thereof, but also to Federal officers and employees who attempt or commit extortion under color of office or employment.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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Description of Change
Statutes at Large
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