Racketeering is a federal crime, typically categorized as a white-collar crime involving an illegal enterprise to commit fraud or other crimes. It’s typically associated with organized crime and can include various activities, from narcotics trafficking to money laundering.
In this article, we will cover the basics of racketeering and discuss the potential penalties of a conviction.
What Is Considered Racketeering Charges?
Racketeering can include criminal activities involving extortion and a racket, an organized scheme to extract illegal profits.
The most common types of racketeering are related to organized crime syndicates such as drug cartels or mob families. However, racketeering can also occur in legitimate businesses through fraudulent activity or corruption.
The U.S. Federal Code outlines various statutes related to racketeering that make it a federal crime, specified in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO laws). Federal crimes include in RICO include:
- Money laundering
- Obstructing justice
- Murder for hire
- Financial and economic crimes
Under federal law, the government can prosecute individuals who have committed or attempted to commit any “predicate act” as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.
A predicate act is any criminal activity considered part of a larger scheme or plan for committing fraud or other illegal activity for financial gain. This can include mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, and more.
On the state level, Florida Statute § 895.02 defines racketeering activity as committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, or intimidating or coercing another party to commit any of the following offenses:
- Money laundering
What Are the Penalties for Racketeering?
The penalties for racketeering vary depending on the type and severity of the offenses committed.
If convicted in federal court on charges related to racketeering under 18 U.S.C., offenders may face up to 20 years in prison and hefty fines of up to $250,000 per count charged against them (or both).
Additionally, those convicted may be required to pay restitution costs if they caused any victims financial harm as part of their illegal enterprise activities.
High-Quality Legal Representation Against Federal Charges
Racketeering is a serious federal offense that carries severe penalties upon conviction in court—including lengthy prison sentences and significant fines.
Suppose you have been accused or charged with racketeering-related offenses in state or federal court. In that case, you must seek experienced legal counsel who can guide you throughout your case to get the best possible outcome for your situation moving forward.
At the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher, our attorney has over two decades of legal experience and is known for providing clients with high-quality, aggressive representation in The Villages.
Our firm is more than equipped to help you develop a personalized defense strategy and understand your legal rights and options. We understand how scary facing federal charges and criminal case allegations can be. We aim to help you destress by handling all the case legalities and simplifying the legal process.
Contact the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher to schedule a case consultation today. Call (352) 503-4111.