Residents of Florida who are charged with white-collar crimes need to take quick action to protect their rights. Racketeering is a serious offense that carries significant penalties. It’s important to understand the federal RICO Act.
What is the RICO Act?
The RICO Act was enacted in 1970. “RICO” stands for “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. The Act was put in place to fight against organized crime in the country. Traditionally, it was associated with the Mafia but can apply to any organization or business that conducts various white-collar crimes.
What is racketeering?
Racketeering includes a variety of different offenses. It can be committed against a person, a business or even the government. Often, businesses are guilty of racketeering and could include legal or illegal businesses. When racketeering occurs, it doesn’t just happen with a single crime. Instead, it’s an organized scheme that takes place over time and involves multiple offenses.
There are a variety of crimes associated with the RICO Act. The following types of crimes have been charged as racketeering over the years:
- Larceny or robbery and theft crimes
- Crimes involving people such as human trafficking, kidnapping, murder and witness tampering
- Financial crimes such as embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, extortion, bribery and more
- Other types of crimes such as arson, acts of terrorism, copyright infringement, trafficking of controlled substances or obstruction of justice
What are the penalties for racketeering?
A conviction of any type of racketeering crime can result in serious penalties. On the extreme end, a person who is convicted of a RICO-related offense can face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. It’s also possible to face life in prison if the crime involves drug trafficking or murder.
Additionally, any property or interest a person has acquired through racketeering crimes can be seized as part of the penalties that come with a conviction. This includes anything from physical property to intangible property like securities or claims.
If you face RICO-related charges, it’s important to take them seriously. You need immediate help to protect your rights and future.