In 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to fight organized crime in the U.S. The law allows prosecutors to take legal action against every person directly or indirectly involved in a racketeering offense, not just the individuals hired by the big bosses to carry out the enterprise's illegal activities. It's unlawful for a person employed or associated with an enterprise to engage in (or conspire to engage in) conduct that would further a "pattern of racketeering activity." And while the law uses the term enterprise, it applies not only to groups but also to individuals, corporations, associations, or other entities.
Racketeering isn't limited to one type of crime; the federal government defines 35 different offenses under this term, which include, but are not limited to:
The penalties for a RICO conviction are not light; they could result in up to 20 years in federal prison (or life if that is the maximum penalty for the racketeering crime) and/or substantial fines. If you are being investigated for or have been charged with a RICO offense, seek skilled legal help as soon as possible. In these types of cases, the government does everything in its lawful power to collect and present evidence that may prove guilt.
For the government to pursue an enterprise under RICO, that enterprise must have engaged in 2 or more acts of racketeering within 10 years of each other. The alleged unlawful conduct must have been related, meaning, for instance, that it led to the same outcome, affected the same people, or the way it was carried out was the same.
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As mentioned before, RICO was enacted to combat organized crime; however, it has been applied to more than just activity carried out by units such as the Mafia. Various entities, including the Hell's Angels, pharmaceutical executives, and the governing body of FIFA, have been pursued under this law. Recently, Wall Street traders have been charged after allegedly engaging in a "spoofing" scheme with precious metals trading. It's alleged that they bid on stocks with the intent on canceling that bid before it was complete. RICO has also been a cause of action in a case against telecommunications company Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
In a RICO case, the government must prove that:
For over 40 years, Attorney Martin G. Weinberg has been delivering high-quality legal representation to individuals facing criminal charges of all types. At Martin G. Weinberg, Attorney at Law, we have extensive experience presenting cases in federal district courts, giving us insight into how the processes work and how the prosecutor builds defenses. When you retain our services, we will take the time to listen to your side of the story to create a personalized legal strategy on your behalf and combat the accusations made against you.
If you're facing prosecution under RICO, get our attorney on your case quickly. We aren't afraid to take on a challenge and will fight tirelessly on your behalf white collar charge. When you retain the services of our experienced and award-winning lawyer, you can be confident we will provide the aggressive representation you need.
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