Defense Against RICO and Racketeering Charges
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly referred to as RICO Act) can be prosecuted in either State or Federal Court. Both jurisdictions provide for extended criminal penalties. There is also a civil cause of action that can be brought under RICO for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. RICO was first enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. While its application is intended to be mainly used to prosecute those who are actively engaged in organized crime, it has become more widespread and has been used as a tool for law enforcement to go investigate and prosecute individuals and businesses never initially contemplated under the statute.
Under federal RICO, a person who is a member of an enterprise that has committed any two of 35 crimes within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering (RICO). A person found guilty can be sentenced up to 20 years in prison. The person convicted must also forfeit all properties and the interest in any business gained through the violation of the RICO act. Moreover, the government may attempt to seek a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant's assets and prevent the further transfer of potentially forfeitable property. In addition to criminal penalties, RICO also permits a person harmed by these crimes to file a civil suit seeking treble damages.
RICO can be an extremely complex law that requires the government to overcome various hurdles and challenges before a conviction can be obtained against an accused. It is essential to obtain legal representation from a criminal defense lawyer or law firm which has the knowledge, experience and a background in handling RICO cases. If you are seeking such an attorney, then NeJame Law and its team of criminal defense attorneys are prepared to assist and defend you through these perilous charges.
The predicate acts, of which at least two are required, to establish a pattern of racketeering activity for RICO purposes, are:
- Any violation of state statutes against gambling, murder, kidnapping, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in the Controlled Substances Act);
- Any act of bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, dealing in obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, and several other offenses covered under the Federal criminal code *Title 18);
- Embezzlement of union funds;
- Bankruptcy or securities fraud;
- Drug trafficking;
- Money laundering and related offenses;
- Bringing in, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country (if the action was for financial gain);
- Acts of terrorism.
Contact our Defense Attorneys
Mark NeJame and his partners at NeJame Law are knowledgeable and available to assist, if you or a family member or friend are under investigation or have been arrested for RICO charges.
We are available 7 days a week at 407-245-1232. You may also send us an e-mail at Defense@NejameLaw.com or fill out our online form and we will get back to you immediately. Our criminal defense attorneys assist clients throughout Orlando, Central Florida as well as the entire State of Florida, in addition to cases across the country. It is a formidable and awesome responsibility to represent someone accused of taking the life of another and we treat our obligations with the utmost professionalism, respect and concern.