Facing federal charges is a serious matter as a conviction could lead to time behind bars and other life-altering consequences. White-collar criminal charges are federal-level offenses that involve theft, fraud and other types of financial crimes. RICO violations are a type of white-collar offense that involves racketeering, which is an organized scheme that may include different types of criminal activity.
The RICO Act stands for the Racketeer Influences and Corrupt Organizations Act, and it is an effort to stop and deter different types of organized criminal activity. While the intent is to fight organized crime, it can apply to other types of cases as well. Racketeering and RICO Act cases are complex because they do not involve just a singular act, but multiple acts often committed by more than one party. These cases are difficult to investigate and effectively prosecute.
The crime of racketeering
Racketeering happens when a party or multiple parties involved with an enterprise to act in such a way as to collect debt unlawfully or engage in other illegal financial activities. Activities that fall in the category of racketeering may affect commerce, are committed on an organizational level and involve a pattern or activity. The RICO Act can extend to a wide variety of cases far beyond those considered organized crime, such as:
- Obstruction of justice and witness tampering
- Human trafficking and slavery
- Copyright infringement
- False use of a passport
- Trafficking a controlled substance
- False use of a passport
- Acts of terrorism
RICO laws prohibit the investment of funds stolen through racketeering efforts, obtaining control of an enterprise through racketeering, unlawfully collecting debt and conspiring to commit certain criminal acts.
The prosecution of racketeering and RICO violations
The prosecution for these types of cases is complicated as there are multiple elements to prove in order to successfully convict someone of these charges. These elements include evidence of a criminal enterprise, the intent of this enterprise, evidence of a pattern of racketeering activity and more.
If you are facing charges that involve racketeering, RICO violations or other types of white-collar crimes, the time to act is now. You would be wise not to waste any time in obtaining an explanation of your legal options and guidance regarding an appropriate defense strategy. Your future is at stake, but your quick action can allow you to develop an effective plan through which you can confront the prosecution’s case.