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The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly referred to as RICO Act or RICO) is a law used to prosecute criminal acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. Under RICO, a person or group who commits any 2 of 35 racketeering crimes-27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes-within a 10-year period and, in the opinion of the United States Attorney bringing the case, has committed those crimes with similar purpose or results can be charged with racketeering. RICO-related charges are considered easy to prove in court, as they focus on patterns of behavior as opposed to criminal acts.
Examples of racketeering activity includes:
When someone is indicted under RICO, the prosecutor has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize the defendant's assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond.
A person convicted under RICO can be sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the person must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity."
Because of the complexity of RICO charges, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call us today for a free consultation.