What is a RICO Federal Criminal Case?

April 15, 2023

RICO, or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is a federal law that was passed in 1970 to combat organized crime. The law is designed to target criminal organizations that engage in a pattern of illegal activity, such as racketeering, money laundering, and other criminal acts.

RICO allows for the prosecution of individuals and organizations that engage in a pattern of illegal activity, as well as those who assist or support such organizations. The law defines a “pattern of illegal activity” as at least two acts of racketeering activity within a ten-year period. Racketeering activity includes a wide range of criminal acts, such as extortion, bribery, money laundering, and other illegal activities.

One of the key features of RICO is that it allows for the prosecution of individuals and organizations that may not have directly committed the illegal acts, but who have assisted or supported such organizations. This includes individuals and organizations that provide financial or other support to criminal organizations, as well as those who participate in the management or control of such organizations.

RICO also allows for the seizure and forfeiture of assets that are derived from or used to facilitate illegal activity. This includes both tangible and intangible assets, such as real estate, vehicles, and bank accounts, as well as businesses and other organizations that are used to facilitate illegal activity.

RICO cases are typically complex and require a significant amount of evidence to prove. The prosecution must prove that the defendants engaged in a pattern of illegal activity, as well as that they were associated with the organization and participated in the management or control of the organization.

It’s important to note that RICO cases are not only limited to traditional organized crime groups like the mafia, but can also be applied to a wide range of organizations, including corporations, street gangs, and even political organizations. This has led to some criticism of the law, with some arguing that it is too broad and has been used to target legitimate organizations and individuals who may not have engaged in any illegal activity.

Another criticism of RICO is that the law has been applied disproportionately against minority communities and organizations. This is due to the fact that the law has been used more frequently against ethnic organized crime groups, such as the Italian mafia, African-American street gangs, and Hispanic drug cartels.

If you’re being accused of a federal crime, then call the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today. Contact us to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your options. Attorney John D. Rogers is a board-certified criminal law specialist by the State Bar of California. He routinely represents clients charged in federal court all throughout California.

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