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RICO: Federal Racketeering

Racketeer Influenced and Corruptions Organizations Act

In 1970, congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corruptions Organizations Act (RICO), and it has been used to govern and regulate organized crime ever since. Traditionally, RICO is applied to those cases that involve the obtainment or extortion of money through illegal means and / or the execution of illegal business activities. As defined by federal law, racketeering can include:

  • Bribery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Felony theft from an interstate shipment
  • Embezzlement from pension and welfare funds
  • Fraud
  • Interfering with commerce
  • Money laundering
  • Murder for hire
  • Interstate transportation of stolen property

The above is only a partial list of the many acts classified as racketeering – if you were charged for federal racketeering and the crime sited in your charges is not listed above, do not assume you're innocent. Contact the law office of Rodriguez Lewis & Kahn to learn more about the details behind your arrest and the criminal charges that you now face.

What penalties could I face?

Under RICO, every method that allows for long-term racketeering activity by an enterprise is outlawed. If convicted for a crime of this nature, you could be looking at any one – or more – of the following penalties:

  • Fines
  • Prison sentence of up to 20 years per RICO violation
  • Forfeiture of any interest / claim / property or contractual right over the enterprise
  • Payment of "treble damages" to the civil plaintiff who seeks retribution (the amount of which could be three times the amount lost to the defendant)

How can Rodriguez Lewis & Kahn defend me?

To prove a RICO case, the opposing attorney must be able to show that his or her client was injured by the actions of the defendant (actions that were associated with an enterprise that is or was engaging in a pattern of racketeering over the last 10 years). Crucial to finding the defendant guilty in a RICO case is the identification of at least two "predicate acts," which can include:

  • Mail fraud
  • Securities fraud
  • Wire fraud

Given the complexities of proving that a defendant committed a RICO violation, your chances of receiving reduced penalties or dropped charges could increase dramatically when you align yourself with a California criminal defense attorney from Rodriguez Lewis & Kahn. A member of our professional team is available 24/7 to take your call, so don't wait to contact us at 213-267-9790.


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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.