Hire a Federal Labor Racketeering Lawyer

Labor racketeering is defined as the act of offering, accepting, or soliciting a bribe or gratuity affecting the operation of employee welfare or pension benefit plan or the prohibited payments or lending of money by an employer or agent to employees, representatives, or labor organizations.

Labor racketeering is a serious crime that could land you in prison for many years. If you’re facing down federal labor racketeering charges and need expert defense, call the Zoukis Consulting Group.

Labor Racketeering Background

The pervasive problem of labor racketeering has grown significantly since the beginning of the 20th century. However, concerted law enforcement efforts to combat it are more recent developments. Because of its overwhelming concentration within the trades, it is usually reflected by higher consumer prices for the public and industry domination while forcing honest competitors out of business.

Since the passage of the Organized Crime and Control Act of 1970, law enforcement has focused on ridding businesses of corruption associated with racketeering. Because of its complex nature, the law takes a broad approach that allows for the prosecution of other crimes ‒ called “predicate acts” ‒ that could be associated with racketeering charges.

How Do Federal Labor Racketeering Charges Work?

The Organized Crime and Control Act gives law enforcement the authority to pursue charges of labor racketeering at multiple levels:

  • Federal courts can bring charges
  • State courts can bring charges
  • Individuals hurt by the criminal behavior can seek restitution through a civil suit

Title IX of the act, called the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statute (or “RICO”), focuses on eliminating organized crime and racketeering from legitimate businesses (in particular, those related to foreign or interstate commerce).

Federal Labor Racketeering Penalties

To be charged with labor racketeering, you must be found guilty of at least two counts of criminal activity from a list of 35 crimes associated with racketeering (including 27 federal crimes and eight state crimes). If you are convicted, you face onerous repercussions such as:

  • Fines up to $25,000 or double the amount earned by illegal activity.
  • Up to 20 years in prison for each count.
  • The possibility of life in prison if the charges are composed of any predicate crimes that warrant a longer sentence. 
  • Seizure of all ill-gotten gains, including any business interests obtained illegally. 
  • Increased fines for damages if sued by individuals in a civil court. 

The hefty penalties usually prove enough of a burden to compel defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for information. Racketeering is generally easy to prove in court because of its focus on behavior and patterns instead of specific criminal acts. This fact makes a plea deal that much more compelling.

How Is Labor Racketeering Defended?

Although a charge of racketeering is serious, you are still presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are charged with labor racketeering, it is critical to find a competent criminal defense lawyer to take your case. Because of asset seizure/forfeiture, it can prove difficult to find someone with the proper experience. Similarly, since these cases are often more broad and proactive than other criminal cases, it is imperative to have someone on your side to offer the best advice for the situation.

There are several strategies for a defense that you might try in a racketeering case:

  • You are innocent: If you did not commit the crimes in question, cooperate fully with your attorney to prove your innocence before the court.
  • Disprove RICO charges: Since the burden of proof is to establish a distinction between the enterprise and the individuals involved, the best start might be to disprove that distinction and get the RICO charges thrown out.
  • Challenge pattern allegations: Racketeering charges focus on finding a pattern of criminal behavior that points to the bigger problem, so offering evidence to show no pattern exists would challenge the viability of a racketeering case.
  • No knowing participation: If you did not knowingly take part in an endeavor with the intent to commit criminal activity, your defense attorney could take this route to prove your innocence.
  • Pursue a plea deal: A good, experienced attorney should be able to negotiate for a lesser charge in exchange for certain valuable information or testimony.

A strong defense attorney who has experience in racketeering cases should have the capability to work any number of angles to either get the case thrown out or provide you with plea options for a lesser sentence.

Let a Federal Labor Racketeering Lawyer Defend You

Labor racketeering is a serious charge that requires immediate attention. The government pursues a proactive and aggressive policy when racketeering charges are levied against someone. You can expect the full force of the law to be used in building a case against you.

The best course of action you can take is hiring a reputable, experienced criminal defense lawyer to take on your case.

Call the Zoukis Consulting Group today to let us defend you against your charges.