RICO – What is it, exactly?

RICO is short for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations 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.”

Suppose you are approached by a member(s) of a government law enforcement agency such as the FBI or are charged with RICO violations. In that case, you need a skilled and experienced New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Attorney to defend against the complexities of this statute. Lorraine Gauli-Rufo is a Montclair Federal RICO criminal defense attorney with experience defending clients charged with RICO matters. Contact Lorraine Gauli-Rufo when first contacted by law enforcement or charged in a Federal RICO matter.

To discuss the federal criminal defense update, or criminal law more generally, reach out to New Jersey and New York criminal defense lawyer Lorraine Gauli-Rufo at 973-239-4300 or at LGR LAW for a consultation today. For more information about the firm, please visit LGR LAW’s website.

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