The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. RICO was enacted by Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91–452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October 15, 1970), and is /www.generallaw.xyz/ codified at 18 U.S.C. ch. 96 as 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961–1968.
RICO was enacted to combat organized crime, but it has also been used to prosecute a wide range of other criminal activities, including:
- Financial fraud
- Drug trafficking
- Labor racketeering
- Public corruption
- Violent crimes
To establish a RICO violation, the government must prove the following elements:
- A pattern of racketeering activity: This means that the defendant must have committed at least two predicate acts of racketeering activity within a ten-year period.
- An enterprise engaged in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce: This means that the defendant must have been involved in an organized criminal group that is involved in interstate or foreign commerce.
- The defendant’s participation in the enterprise: This means that the defendant must have been involved in the enterprise in some way, such as by being a member, associate, or leader of the enterprise.
If a defendant is convicted of a RICO violation, they can face a number of penalties, including:
- Imprisonment for up to 20 years per racketeering count
- Fines of up to $25,000 per racketeering count lawgrip.com/
- Forfeiture of all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity”
RICO is a powerful tool that can be used to prosecute a wide range of criminal activity. It is important to note that RICO is a complex law, and there are a number of exceptions and limitations to its application.
Here are some examples of RICO cases:
- In 1985, the government indicted the Gambino crime family on RICO charges. The Gambinos were convicted and sentenced to long prison terms.
- In 1995, the government indicted Enron Corporation on RICO charges for its role in the Enron accounting scandal. Enron was convicted and fined $1.5 million.
- In 2013, the government indicted the Teamsters union on RICO charges for corruption and racketeering. The Teamsters were convicted and fined $22 million.
RICO is a complex and powerful law, and it is important to consult with an experienced attorney if you are facing RICO charges.