RICO Cases Work With One of the Nation's Most Experienced & Successful Trial Lawyers

Boston RICO Case Defense Attorney

What Crimes are Covered by the RICO Act?

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:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Gambling
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Bribery
  • Extortion
  • Drug trafficking

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.

We are ready to get started building your defense. Call us today at (617) 227-3700 for your consultation.

What Must the Government Prove in a Racketeering Case?

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:

  • An enterprise existed
  • The enterprise's illegal dealings affected interstate or foreign commerce
  • The defendant was associated in some way with the enterprise
  • The defendant was involved in a pattern of racketeering
  • The defendant committed at least two acts of related racketeering offenses for the enterprise

Turn to Us for the Help You Need

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.

Schedule your consultation today by calling us at (617) 227-3700 or contacting us online.


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Significant Cases

  • Charges Dismissed U.S. v. Moffett

    The case is U.S. v. Moffett, case number 22-1075, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

  • Successful Challenge US v Warshak

    631 F3d 266 CA 6 (2010): Successful challenge to the Department of Justice’s reliance on the Stored Communications Act to seize the content of emails in violation of the Fourth Amendment

  • Dismissed Charges US v Handa

    892 F.3d 95 (1st Cir. 2018): Dismissal of bank and wire fraud charges against business owner on Speedy Trial grounds due to delay between indictment and his arrest returning to the US from India.

  • Reversal of Convictions US v Tavares

    (1st Cir, Dec. 2016): 1st Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of RICO and mail fraud convictions in a public corruption case.

  • Reversal of Conviction US v Casellas-Toro

    (1st Cir, 2015): Appellate reversal of a federal false statement conviction due to a "Rare application of the presumption of prejudice resulting from pervasive publicity from prior case”

  • Reversal of Conviction US v Vazquez-Rivera

    665 F3d 351 CA 1 (2011): Reversal of child pornography conviction based on improper admission of opinion evidence from FBI agent which prejudiced defendant’s right to a fair trial.

  • Acquittal US v Bravo-Fernandez

    18-1358 (1st Cir, 2019): First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a conviction of a business executive for bribing a Puerto Rico Senator holding that the Government failed to meet each essential element of proof under 18 USC 666, and ordering the entry of a judgment of acquittal.

  • Reversal of Conviction US v Bravo Fernandez

    (722 F3d 1, 1st Cir, 2013): Federal Court of Appeals reversed conviction of a leading businessman in Puerto Rico for federal programs bribery holding that gratuities cannot, legally, be the basis for such a conviction.

  • Acquittal US v DiMasi

    Acquittal of Richard Vitale on federal honest services charges in corruption case involving former Massachusetts Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi

  • Acquittal US v Pappathanasi

    Acquittal of defendant charged with conspiracy to evade taxes in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.