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A colloquial term referring to the unlawful acquisition of public money through questionable and improper transactions with public officials.

Graft is the personal gain or advantage earned by an individual at the expense of others as a result of the exploitation of the singular status of, or an influential relationship with, another who has a position of public trust or confidence. The advantage or gain is accrued without any exchange of legitimate compensatory services.

Behavior that leads to graft includes Bribery and dishonest dealings in the performance of public or official acts. Graft usually implies the existence of theft, corruption, Fraud, and the lack of integrity that is expected in any transaction involving a public official.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

GRAFT. A figurative term in chancery practice, to designate the right of a mortgagee in premises, to which the mortgagor at the time of making the mortgage had an imperfect title, but who afterwards obtained a good title. In this case the new mortgage is considered a graft into the old stock, and, as arising in consideration of the former title. 1 Ball & Beat. 46; Id. 40; Id. 57; 1 Pow. on Mortg. 190. See 9 Mass. 34. The same principle has obtained by legislative enactment in Louisiana. If a person contracting an obligation towards another, says the Civil Code, art. 2371, grants a mortgage on property of which he is not then the owner, this mortgage shall be valid, if the debtor should ever acquire the ownership of, the property, by whatever right.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Alison McKenzie, Burns Outreach Nurse at the Grafters Club, added: "This is the largest single donation we have ever received and as a small charity this means so much.
"What I will do, though, as we get work in, is to help out and give priority to any guys who lost money through the old Grafters.
WHAT is a grafter? It is English slang for a hard worker who puts in long hours of arduous, physical labour.
Alison McKenzie, burns outreach nurse at the Grafters Club, adds: "This is the largest single donation we have ever received and as a small charity this means so much.
Another, who asked not to be named, said: "Never mind Grafters - this mob should be called Shafters."
Purcell also added a goal, with Rhys Beck the top tackler and Sam Beaumont the top grafter.
The couple first separated in April after Soldier Soldier and Grafters star Green's four-year affair with actress Pamela Sharrock was revealed.
ACTRESS Emily Joyce is currently starring in the ITV drama Grafters with Robson Green and Stephen Tompkinson.
Wouldn't you just love to get to grips with The Grafters? But are Robson Green and Stephen Tomkinson - builder brothers Joe and Trevor in the new ITV series - really the hottest property on the sites?
Work is no way out of poverty when low-paid jobs and Tory benefit cuts trap 3.7 million grafters - one in eight of all workers - below the breadline.
Organised by The Grafters' Club, staff at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary said they were keen to get the children mixing with others.
Man-of-the-match was Adams, with Lewis Bellas and Conor Barker the top grafters.