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Defense Against RICO and Racketeering Charges

Handling RICO Charges In Central Florida And Across Florida

gavel sitting on hundred dollar billsThe 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 can face a maximum sentence of 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 the NeJame Law 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

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Our criminal defense attorneys assist clients throughout Central Florida, including the cities of Orlando, Winter Park, Windermere and Kissimmee, as well as the entire State of Florida. It is a big responsibility to represent someone accused of taking the life of another and we treat our obligations with the utmost professionalism, respect and concern.

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