DEFINITION of 'Bagman'

A bagman is somebody who organizes, collects, transports and distributes the proceeds of criminal activities — although in Canada it is also used pejoratively to describe fundraisers for political parties. More broadly, a bagman has come to mean anyone who is an intermediary in an illicit or unethical transaction.


Bagman was first used to describe a traveling salesman in Britain in 1808. Later it was used in the United States to describe mafioso who collected money for their mafia bosses, or anyone who collected bribes to public officials, including police officers. Today, bagman has come to mean anyone who collects or distributes the proceeds of illicit activities, including protection racket enforcers and other organized criminals, like "transporters."

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