AskDefine | Define bagman

Dictionary Definition

bagman

Noun

1 a salesman who travels to call on customers [syn: traveling salesman, travelling salesman, commercial traveler, commercial traveller, roadman]
2 a racketeer assigned to collect or distribute payoff money

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Alternative spellings

Noun

  1. A person who collects, transports, or distributes illicit money, especially for the purpose of bribery, extortion, or the making of other improper payments.

Extensive Definition

Bagman is also a character from the 2000AD comic strip Rogue Trooper
A bag man (or bagman), also known as a delivery boy or running man, is a person designated to collect money in a protection racket. Originally the term applied only to Mafia members collecting for mob bosses, but the term later spread to use in corrupt police precincts where a foot patrolman was the designated "bagman" to pick up and deliver bribes from the local mob(s) to the precinct captain. In many cases, the bagman receives a fraction of the money collected and acts as "insulation" to protect higher-ups from exposure or direct prosecution. The term can also be used for a person who performs small tasks for the Mafia, such as chaffeuring, transportation of goods, or even shakedowns.
The term is also used pejoratively to describe fundraisers for political parties and employees of the IRS.
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