The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) was enacted in 1970 as Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. It was originally passed to eliminate legal loopholes and help prosecute alleged offenders engaged in organized crime (such as members of the Mafia), but has since gained more widespread application.
Alleged offenders or groups of alleged offenders who commit two criminal acts associated with racketeering activity and involving interstate commerce within a 10-year period can be prosecuted under RICO. Convictions for RICO Act violations can result in decades in prison and fines of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.Lawyer for Federal RICO Act Offenses in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Do you think that you could be currently under investigation or were you already arrested in Florida for an alleged RICO Act violation? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal representation. Contact The Hoffman Firm for help fighting these charges.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Miami who represents clients facing federal charges all over Miami-Dade County, including North Miami, Opa-locka, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, and several surrounding communities. Call (305) 249-0090 today to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer review your case.
Overview of RICO Act Crimes in North Miami
- How does the federal government define a pattern of racketeering activity?
- What are the consequences of being convicted of a RICO Act violation?
- Where can I learn more about the RICO Act?
Federal RICO Act Charges
A “pattern of racketeering activity” requires at least two acts of racketeering activity within 10 years. 18 U.S. Code § 1961(1) defines racketeering activity as meaning any of the following:
- Any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical, which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
- Any act which is indictable relating to bribery, sports bribery, counterfeiting, felony theft from interstate shipment, embezzlement from pension and welfare funds, extortionate credit transactions, fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, fraud and related activity in connection with access devices, the transmission of gambling information, mail fraud, wire fraud, financial institution fraud, fraud in foreign labor contracting, the procurement of citizenship or nationalization unlawfully, the reproduction of naturalization or citizenship papers, the sale of naturalization or citizenship papers, obscene matter, obstruction of justice, obstruction of criminal investigations, the obstruction of State or local law enforcement, tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant, retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant, false statement in application and use of passport, forgery or false use of passport, misuse of passport, fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons, interference with commerce, robbery, or extortion, racketeering, interstate transportation of wagering paraphernalia, unlawful welfare fund payments, the prohibition of illegal gambling businesses, the laundering of monetary instruments, engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, illegal money transmitters, sexual exploitation of children, interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles, interstate transportation of stolen property, trafficking in counterfeit labels for phonorecords, computer programs or computer program documentation or packaging and copies of motion pictures or other audiovisual works, criminal infringement of a copyright, unauthorized fixation of and trafficking in sound recordings and music videos of live musical performances, trafficking in goods or services bearing counterfeit marks, trafficking in certain motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, trafficking in contraband cigarettes, white slave traffic, biological weapons, chemical weapons, or nuclear materials;
- Any act which is indictable dealing with restrictions on payments and loans to labor organizations or relating to embezzlement from union funds;
- Any offense involving fraud connected with a case under federal bankruptcy laws, fraud in the sale of securities, or the felonious manufacture, importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical;
- Any act which is indictable under the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act;
- Any act which is indictable under the Immigration and Nationality Act, relating to bringing in and harboring certain aliens, aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter the United States, or importation of alien for immoral purpose, if the act indictable under such section of such Act was committed for the purpose of financial gain; or
- Any act of terrorism transcending national boundaries.
RICO Act Penalties
RICO convictions carry severe consequences that include steep criminal and civil penalties. An alleged offender who is convicted of a RICO Act violation can be sentenced to any combination of the following:
- Up to 20 years in prison per RICO violation;
- Fines of up to $250,000 or double the amount of illegal profits (whichever is higher); and
- Forfeiture of all assets earned or maintained through racketeering activity.
18 U.S. Code § 1964 also establishes civil remedies for alleged victims who suffered financial harm because of an alleged offender’s racketeering activity. Alleged victims can sue the alleged offenders in the appropriate United States District Court and may be able to recover threefold the damages they sustained as well as the costs of the lawsuits, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
Florida RICO Act Resources
United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 96 | Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations — View the full text of the RICO Act on this website. You can read all of the definitions, prohibited activities, criminal penalties, and civil remedies. The chapter also discusses venue and process, expedition of actions, and evidence.
CRIMINAL RICO: 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968 | A Manual for Federal Prosecutors — The United States Department of Justice intended for this manual to assist federal prosecutors in the preparation and litigation of cases involving the RICO Act. You can learn more about RICO’s legislative history, RICO’s definition of enterprise, and patterns of racketeering activity. The manual also covers the application of sentencing guidelines to RICO, RICO forfeiture, and RICO jury instructions.
If you were arrested or suspect that you might be under investigation for any kind of RICO Act violation, make sure that you have legal counsel before saying anything to authorities. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients facing federal charges in Hialeah, South Miami, Coral Gables, Aventura, and many other nearby areas of Miami-Dade County.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former Assistant State Attorney who is admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form schedule a free consultation.