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What are RICO charges?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Federal Offenses

White-collar crimes typically involve fraud or other types of deception committed with the intent of financial gain. These offenses can vary from simple acts of deception to complex fraudulent operations, and these cases are typically very difficult to investigate and prosecute. White-collar criminal cases usually lack an element of violence, but these are federal crimes. This means the offenses carry the risk of elevated penalties and grave consequences for a New York defendant if convicted.

Racketeering is a white-collar crime involving more than just one isolated event. This is an organized endeavor that is usually quite complex, often involving multiple criminal acts simultaneously. At its most basic definition, racketeering is dishonest business dealings committed to securing a financial advantage. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was passed in an effort to fight this type of white-collar crime.

Understanding RICO charges

If you are facing RICO charges, this means the court has charged you with racketeering in violation of the RICO Act. The court often files RICO charges against those accused of organized criminal acts, including acts of extortion or coercion. The RICO Act allows federal law enforcement to arrest and prosecute any individual associated with corrupt and illegal business practices, not just the leader or boss. There are 35 specific criminal offenses included under the RICO Act, and they include:

  • Kidnapping
  • Money laundering
  • Human trafficking
  • Collection of unlawful debt
  • Witness tampering
  • Prostitution
  • Gambling
  • False use of a passport
  • Murder for hire

These are only some of the federal offenses covered by the RICO Act. If you are facing RICO charges, it could be for a range of activities, including white-collar crime or even physically violent acts. Among other penalties, sentences for RICO convictions often include extensive time in prison.

The right defense against RICO charges

Cases that involve RICO charges are remarkably complex, and you will benefit from having experienced guidance at every step of the criminal justice process. You have much at stake, but you do not have to face these allegations alone. As soon as you learn of an investigation into your activities or promptly after an arrest, take steps to shield your rights and interests. Securing legal counsel can provide insight into how you can defend yourself, fight the charges against you and protect your future.