Gertsburg Licata attorneys have decades of experience in business and criminal law. Our lawyers have backgrounds in corporate governance, corporate real estate and business transactions, and other types of white-collar crimes that require a deep understanding of the law as well as federal and international regulations.  

Whether your business needs representation for a trial, needs to hire investigators for compliance issues or is looking for day-to-day business law advisors, our firm has your company covered.  

Gertsburg Licata knows the complexities of financial regulations, contract law, real estate, trading, taxes, and other legal matters businesses often face. We have the experience necessary to handle the most serious financial criminal allegations made against businesses, CEOs, executives, accountants, directors, and other high-power individuals within companies or corporations. We even have the know-how to provide defense to businesses and individuals accused of extortion.  

What is Extortion?

Extortion refers to the practice of obtaining some sort of gain (usually financial) through coercion. Extortion is a federal criminal offense that most people hear about in connection with organized crime. Extortion does not require a threat of violence or other criminal activity, simply a threat to elicit money, property or actions from the person being extorted.  

Common threats involve filing false, or true, reports of criminal activity to legal authorities, or release of personal or confidential information that could damage the reputation, credibility, or financial standing of a corporation or individual. Political corruption, such as influence peddling, is another way extortion occurs. 

Extortion can occur via mail, phone, interstate commerce, or digitally through a computer or other electronic devices. Companies that deal in the financial industry can be accused of extortion because of unclear communications, untrained financial management staff, or lacking legal advice of expert attorneys.  

Punishment for Extortion

When a corporation or individual is accused of criminal activity such as extortion, the penalties if convicted are high. Fines can be in the thousands of dollars, the convicted party may be ordered to pay restitution, probation could be ordered, and in worst-case scenarios, individuals can be convicted and incarcerated.  

The attorneys at Gertsburg Licata are skilled at strategizing the best plan of action and outcomes for our clients. We also have experience negotiating with the top federal and state prosecutors to reach settlement deals that protect our clients while also satisfying any need for accountability. 

Defense for Extortion Allegations

Extortion is a serious crime that requires an effective, knowledgeable, and fully credentialed legal team for a solid defense. There are several considerations and strategies that should be considered when building a defense against an extortion allegation.  

Lack of Evidence- When a prosecutor files charges of extortion, they need to have infallible evidence that the crime has been committed. Prosecutors must prove that the person who is accused of extortion knowingly threatened or coerced the other party into actions that resulted in personal gain for the perpetrator.  

Miscommunications during intense arguments can sometimes result in allegations of extortion, the key to legal defense is proving there was no intention of threat. Evidence of extortion must also be obtained legally, otherwise, it is not admissible in court. Examples of evidence being obtained illegally include search and seizures not conducted via warrant or other legal methods, interrogation without honoring a defendant’s right to counsel, or using other illegal interrogation methods.  

Committed Threats Under Duress- Charges of extortion are only valid if the accused knowingly committed the crime of their own free will, not if an individual made threats under duress, while they were drugged or involuntarily intoxicated, or lacked the mental capacity to commit the crime. 

If your business, executives, or director has been accused of extortion, you need the best legal representation to ensure a solid defense. Gertsburg Licata has numerous attorneys that are ready and able to investigate the allegations, find evidence, litigate on your behalf, and ensure that your best interests are always represented to the fullest.  

Attorneys that specialize in extortion and financial crimes are vital to being able to achieve favorable outcomes that avoid incarceration, keep your personal and business reputation intact, and satisfies all involved parties.  

Eleina Thomas, Esq.

Senior Associate
White-Collar Defense
[email protected]
(216) 573-6000 x7006

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