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Profits made from a transaction, usually in an inappropriate, illegal, or dishonest way. The mayor quickly resigned after it was discovered he was taking a rake-off from the local cartel's drug sales.

rake something off (of) something

 and rake something off
to remove something from something by raking. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Please rake the leaves off the lawn. Rake off the leaves.
See also: off, rake

rake off

Make an unlawful profit, as in They suspected her of raking off some of the campaign contributions for her personal use . This expression alludes to the raking of chips by an attendant at a gambling table. [Late 1800s]
See also: off, rake
References in periodicals archive ?
Some of them have been keeping it themselves I understand, and others have been passing it on to claim farmers; thats people thats been directing these poor, sick, unfortunate, elderly miners to these solicitors, and theyve been having the rake-off.
But Premier League bosses are fuming about missing the rake-off they believe is rightfully theirs.
4 per cent from greyhound turnover, which has jumped 40 per cent, but the rake-off remains comparatively tiny and is only paid on a voluntary basis.
Now the rake-off is so large, the players get less and less for winning.
And that's only a fraction of the rake-off harvested by at least three international gangs who turn each Grand Prix into a vast scam worth millions.
The rake-off is on top of pay rises for the show's new four-nights-a- week format from November.