Hire a RICO Lawyer to Fight Your Charges
Racketeering charges, also known as RICO charges, are sure to be unsettling to you.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) was passed by the federal government in 1970. The goal was to put an end to organized crime in the U.S. Today, RICO laws are used to punish those engaged in enterprise-based illegal activities.
If you find yourself facing such charges, contact a RICO attorney from the Zoukis Consulting Group immediately. We will fight your charges in court to try to get you a lesser sentence. We can also consult with you on surviving federal prison.
You can make your consultation with us now. In the meantime, learn more about RICO laws below.
What Are the Federal RICO Laws?
Federal racketeering refers to carrying on a pattern of illegal activities as part of an enterprise that is owned or controlled by those who are engaged in the illegal activity. RICO charges can be brought at both the federal and state levels. U.S. Code 18:1961 lists more than 30 RICO crimes.
At the federal level, RICO crimes include gambling offenses, fraud, bribery, money laundering, murder for hire, sexual exploitation of children, financial and economic crimes, and obstruction of justice of a criminal investigation.
State RICO offenses include gambling, drug crimes, kidnapping, robbery, bribery, extortion, arson, human and sexual trafficking, and dealing in obscene matters.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, for the government to bring RICO charges against you and then find you guilty of violating the RICO statute, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- An enterprise existed
- The enterprise carried on across state lines
- The defendant was associated with or employed by the enterprise
- The defendant took part in an established pattern of racketeering activity
- The defendant conducted or participated in at least two acts of racketeering activity within 10 years.
Federal Racketeering and Labor Crimes – Overview
Labor racketeering is one of the most common types of racket, along with kidnapping or protection rackets, cyber extortion, and fencing rackets.
According to the U.S. Office of Inspector General: “Labor racketeering relates to the infiltration, exploitation, and/or control of a union, employee benefit plan, employer entity, or workforce. It is carried out through illegal, violent, or fraudulent means for profit or personal benefit.”
Labor racketeering is committed by, or in alliance with, groups or under the direction of organized crime groups. Sentences may include fines, up to 20 years in federal prison, and the return of profits and property gained from illegal activities.
Federal Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE)
The Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute (also known as the CCE Statute or The Kingpin Statute) is a federal law that targets large-scale drug traffickers and sophisticated drug conspiracies. The CCE statute differs from the RICO Act in that it focuses on narcotics only.
Sentencing for CCE convictions is harsh. There is a minimum 20-year prison sentence with a maximum of life and fines up to $2 million. In addition, any profits gained from the enterprise must be returned.
Under Subsection B to the CCE Statute, any “kingpin,” or principal leader of an enterprise handling large amounts of drugs or generating $10 million or more in one year, will face a life sentence without the possibility of parole. If the convicted person killed anyone or caused a murder, they will be sentenced to death.
Interstate or Foreign Travel or Transportation in Aid of a Racketeering Enterprise (Section 2E1.2.)
Anyone who travels across state lines or engages in foreign commerce or uses the mail or any facility with the intent to engage in unlawful racketeering activity will be fined under this title. In addition, prison sentences can range from five to 20 years. If the convicted caused the death of someone during the illegal activity, the prison sentence could range from any length of years to life.
Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering Activity (Section 2E1.3.)
Anyone engaged in a racketeering enterprise who is involved with assault with a deadly weapon and commits assault resulting in serious bodily injury, murders, kidnaps, or threatens (or attempts or conspires) to commit violence against someone will face fines and imprisonment based on the nature of the crime.
For example, if a murder occurred, the convicted may be fined and sentenced to life in prison or death. If someone was maimed, the convicted may be fined and sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Assault charges carry fines and up to 20 years imprisonment. Threats involve fines and up to five years in prison.
Contact an Experienced RICO Lawyer Today
If you’ve been arrested on RICO charges, contact a federal criminal defense attorney from the Zoukis Consulting Group today.
Everyone deserves fair legal representation. Trust us to ensure that your legal rights are upheld.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Feb 15, 2022 at 12:28 pm