Extortion offence: Italian Cassation Court states interpretation guidelines
Extortion is listed as one of the main offence against property. However, such exploitive offence might include several type of unlawful conducts.
Extortion consists of giving or promising to give money or other benefits in return of money or other benefits subjected to usurious advantages. In such context, it is possible to identify two different conducts. The first one (usurious performance) occurs when the unlawful profit has been achieved and when victim’s property has been damaged. The second conduct takes place in victim’s acceptance of the usurious agreement. Subsequently, extortion occurs either when a payment takes place or when the victim gives acceptance the usurious agreement.
It is also possible to distinguish objective and subjective extortion. Objective extortion occurs when the agreement includes interest rates that go beyond legal threshold and then considerable as usurious interest rates. Contrarily, subjective extortion takes place even interest rates cannot be defined as “usurious” but they look disproportionate in relation to the contractual provision.
In such context, Italian Cassation Court stated that extortion offence occurs when the usurious performance takes place; regardless any eventual intimidation or threat perpetrated by the offender. As the Italian Court confirmed, in the event the usurious performance is accompanied by intimidating and threating conducts, we are faced with concurrent offences.