In 1970, Congress created the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act as the “ultimate hit man” against organized crime. Before RICO, prosecutors had little recourse except to bring mob-related cases to trial one at a time. Since individual mobsters were responsible for each crime, the authorities like California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer, Inc. could only go after specific offenders rather than an entire criminal organization. These days, the government seldom uses RICO in its fight against the Mafia. Instead, government and private actors both utilize the law to crack down on legitimate and illegitimate businesses alike.
Everyone who takes part in a criminal enterprise may be brought to justice thanks to RICO California. As a result, the government may charge not only low-level gang members like hit men and capos, but also high-level leaders of the mob. Along with stricter punishments, RICO also introduced a number of new offenses. In an essay for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, John L. Smith detailed RICO’s effects, writing: “After RICO, mob families began to crack under the very real threat that members and associates could be indicted en masse for a wide range of criminal activity,” according to the New York Times. “[E]even the strongest stand-up guy would have trouble fading the 20-year (and more) sentences that began accompanying RICO convictions.”
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was created to target the Mafia; but, in the 37 years since its inception, it has been used to target other types of organized crime, including street gangs, gang cartels, corrupt police agencies, and even corrupt politicians.
For a violation of RICO to have occurred, there must have been a continuation of racketeering conduct involving a business. Gambling, murder, abduction, arson, drug selling and bribery are just a few of the 35 crimes included in the legal definition of racketeering. Even if you are getting sexual harassment you can hire lawyer rape victim. The inclusion of mail and wire fraud is particularly noteworthy. Offenses that serve as a “predicate” for another offense. Two predicate offenses committed by the business within a 10-year period are required for RICO charges to be brought.
Please be aware that a business is needed. A criminal organization, such as a gang or a drug cartel, might be at play here. The entity in question might also be a business, political faction, or healthcare management firm. The enterprise need only exist as a separate entity, yet it should be noted that a business is not the same as a person. Accordingly, a company may act as the vehicle through which criminal acts are committed, but it cannot act in either capacity directly.
The RICO criminal legislation has maximum sentences of 20 years in jail and hefty fines for violations. The statute also gives prosecutors the right to seize property to prevent defendants from evading justice.
Common Law RICO
Although RICO’s criminal penalties are severe, the law’s true strength lies in its civil provisions. Any victim of a RICO violation has the right to file a civil lawsuit and, if successful, collect three times the amount of their actual losses. While civil attorneys in the 1980s sought to shoehorn a wide variety of claims into RICO, federal courts erected a number of obstacles for civil RICO claims in the 1990s. A successful RICO action requires the plaintiff to prove the following:
Doing Bad Things. You need to prove that the defendant engaged in mail or wire fraud, two of the more general RICO offenses. However, the court would conduct rigorous examination if you base your claim on deception.
Circumstances suggestive of a criminal pattern. It takes more than one offense to get a sentence of this length. In order to prove a criminal pattern, you must provide evidence of at least two separate offenses. For crimes to form a pattern, they must either have commonalities (common target, common approach, common actors) or be ongoing (ongoing for at least a year).
Within the time limit set by the law. The Supreme Court has established a four-year statute of limitations for RICO claims, which starts to run when the victim learns of the damages.
RICO is both effective and intricate. Seek legal advice if you believe you have a case against a company or an individual for damages resulting from RICO-eligible criminal action. Nonetheless, you should make sure it’s worthwhile. Legal action against a RICO offender may be exceedingly expensive.