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Enacted as port of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was created as an attempt to help tie the leaders of organized crime into the actions – even if the leader delegated instead of physically carried the crime out. Primarily, when RICO was passed, it was targeted at crimes that were tied to the mafia. For example, before RICO a mafia leader could order someone to commit a murder, but couldn't be charged with it since they did not technically commit it.
What are the Penalties for Racketeering?
RICO states that any enterprise violating any two of 35 crimes within a 10 year period can be charged with racketeering. Those who are found guilty can be criminally charged with up to $25,000 in fines and up to 20 years of imprisonment, per charge. Beyond this, the person who has been criminally convicted will be required under the law to forfeit any profit that they had gained through the commission of the crime.
Some of the crimes listed in the federal and state codes that qualify as racketeering are counterfeiting, theft, fraud, embezzlement, gambling, drug trafficking, murder and kidnapping. A dedicated NYC criminal attorney is essential for a successful defense. You want an attorney with experience in a vast number of areas of criminal defense who you can trust with your case.
Famous RICO Cases Throughout the Years
Throughout the years RICO violations have been involved with some of the most famous of criminal lawsuits.
Below, we will include a breakdown of some of the most well-known RICO cases:
- Hells Angels – In 1979, the founding member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was charged with several different offenses relating to drugs and weapons. In United States v. Barger, he was not found guilty as there was not enough evidence to tie the behavior to club policy.
- Key West Police Department – In 1984, the Key West PD was accused of running a protection racket that allowed for the smuggling of cocaine through the area. They were arrested on RICO charges and convicted after witnesses testified that they had delivered cocaine to the Deputy Chief's office.
- Major League Baseball – In 2002, the owners of the Montreal Expos filed a RICO charge against the commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig as well as the former owner of Expos Jeffrey Loria. The charge claimed they had purposefully devalued the team to prepare to move the team. They were not convicted.
Contact a RICO Violation Defense Attorney in NYC
A strong and aggressive defense for RICO violations can be very complex. There is a great deal of knowledge necessary in order to be successful and create the best possible results. We have spent years defending people alleged of crimes and have helped a great many to reach a more positive outcome than they thought possible. We are available 24/7 for court arraignments. Our purpose is to help people in all matter of legal situations to resolve them so they can return to a more happy life.
No matter what charges you are facing, or even if you've already been convicted but want to appeal, we can help. Contact us today.