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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 ?
If there were no 'rake-off' from betting, there would be no racing; at least, not racing as we know it.
A letter, from a Mrs Linda Nkomo, asks for help to transfer EUR8million in return for a 30 per cent rake-off.
A spokesman for one of the big mobile operators tried to equate the mobile rake-off with the price of a stamp ( 26p ( on money you send by post.
Mr Sandison cited this week's rise in national insurance contributions, the failure to increase personal tax allowances in line with inflation, the pounds 5 billion a year rake-off from pension funds, and rising house prices that are catching more and more people in the inheritance tax trap as examples of the Government's willingness to impose stealth taxes on individuals.
The mechanisms that guide the CFA-Euro operations in effect structurally and negatively block the economic rake-off of the 15 CFA zone countries.
That's a grotesque rake-off and it should be penalised with a windfall tax.
And it is 920% more than the PS10 annual rake-off per customer in 2009.
This Government is more than happy with the excessive tax rake-off on the sale of alcohol, but simply doesn't want to hand any of it over to policing what they created in the first place.
Win, place and even forecast tote pools make limited appeal to serious punters, especially given the large rake-off taken by the tracks from what is often an unappealingly small pool in the first place.
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. I think it is appalling.
FORMER miners in Nuneaton, Bedworth and north Warwick-shire could lose as much as pounds 7,000 in pension pay-outs because of windfall rake-off by the government.
His rake-off - through his company Gestifute (which has over a billion pounds' worth of talent on its books) - during this last transfer window is believed to be around [euro]38m.
When this ban was lifted it was said be a result of pressure from filling stations, where profit margins left little room to pay a rake-off to any card company.
FAT Cat Sam Laidlaw (below), head of Centrica which owns British Gas, is heading for a pounds 1million pay rise, taking his annual rake-off to pounds 2.8million.