RICO Offenses

What Is a RICO Offense

RICO is short for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizational Act, a federal law passed in 1970 to fight organized crime. In a nutshell, RICO allows the federal government to charge many people for broad activities that it determines are part of an “ongoing criminal enterprise.” Title 18, Section 1961 of the United States Code sets forth a long list of racketeering activities. These underlying federal and state crimes (that are independent crimes in and of themselves) include crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, extortion, witness tampering, securities fraud, healthcare fraud, mail and wire fraud, gambling, bribery, money laundering, counterfeiting, embezzlement, and drug trafficking, to name a few. To convict a defendant under RICO, the government must prove that the defendant engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activities (such as two of the activities set forth above) and that the defendant participated in a criminal enterprise. Issues may involve what an “enterprise” is and what constitutes “racketeering activity.”

Why Are People Charged with RICO?

RICO was initially enacted and used to fight organized crime figures like those in the Mafia. Today, the federal government uses RICO to charge people who are part of a group or what they refer to as a “gang.”

Hire an experienced RICO Lawyer right away

If you are charged or threatened with a RICO offense, you need to reach out to an federal criminal defense attorney immediately. RICO is a very complicated statute, and it is very easy for the government to prove a RICO conspiracy. You need someone who has fought the government on these charges frequently. Lorraine Gauli-Rufo and her team at LGR law have handled many RICO cases in both New York and New Jersey. Not only will your lawyer be able to start building your case, but he or she can also speak to others on your behalf and make sure you do not say anything incriminating about your case. Contact our law office today to set up a consultation.


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