Research Our Records

Classification 9: Extortion

This classification was established for investigations involving the use of mail or other means of interstate commerce to:

  1. Demand ransom for a kidnapped person
  2. Threaten to kidnap or inure any person
  3. Demand money based on threats to injure someone

The FBI, however, will not investigate a case if a state or local law enforcement agency has entered it. The Post Office handles cases involving the mailing of threats to reveal information in order to harm the recipient's reputation. However, the FBI handles cases where money is demanded under threat of informing or as a consideration for not informing against someone who allegedly has violated Federal law.

Until the 1960s there were many extortion cases involving labor disputes and racial situations. Beginning in 1970 an increasing number of extortion cases involving public officials and business, particularly banks and airlines were opened. Extortion attempts directed against banks and airlines are generally prosecuted under the Hobbs Act and, therefore, classifications 192 or 193 are used when the FBI investigates.

NARA online catalog descriptions of holdings for Classification 9: Extortion

Record GroupNARA IdentifierSeries Title
65568050Classification 9 (Extortion) Released Under The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts

Return to list of Classes of FBI Records in the National Archives