Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cert Grant: Conspiracy to Commit Extortion

Continuing with our series of cert grant reviews . . . .
From the Fourth Circuit, cert was granted on the following question,
Does a conspiracy to commit extortion require that the conspirators agree to obtain property from someone outside the conspiracy?
The premise is that the Hobbs Act statute defines extortion as "the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, . . . under color of official right.” 18 U.S.C. § 1951(b)(2). In Evans v. US, 504 US 255 (1992), the Supreme Court held that a public official violates that statute when he “obtain[s] a payment to which he was not entitled, knowing that the payment was made in return for official acts.”

There is a split between the Fourth and Sixth Circuits on the question. It does not appear that the Tenth Circuit has directly addressed this question.

The case is Ocasio v. United States and here is the SCOTUSblog page. Cert was just granted March 2 and no argument has yet been scheduled.

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