Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (R.I.C.O.) Act
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) initially was enacted in order to address organized crime. The act targets activities that are in furtherance of ongoing criminal organizations. RICO charges may be brought by both state and federal governments, but it is a common federal indictment. In addition, the RICO Act provides for a civil cause of action to recover damages resulting from the criminal actions. Under the terms of RICO, a person can seek treble damages, leading to financial devastation for the defendant’s family and/or business.
RICO charges now are brought against many individuals and businesses, far beyond the original scope of the act. There a list of statutorily designated crimes that fall within the purview of RICO. When a person or corporation commits 2 out of the 35 potential criminal acts, within a time period of 10 years, he may risk being prosecuted for RICO violations. This is often thought of as a high-profile types of case for federal prosecutors, so it is easy for them to turn into nothing more than witch hunts that gather up people who were not acting in furtherance of an ongoing criminal organization (often, they merely were in the wrong place at the wrong time).
These federal prosecutors often lead the charge against the targeted individuals, relying on the vast resources of the federal government, including the investigative officers from a number of federal agencies, to compile reams of evidence. It is critical to have criminal defense attorneys who understand the challenges that RICO cases present and are armed with the tools to defend against the manipulations of the federal prosecutor, which is what you will get with Greco Neyland, PC.
One of the dangers of a RICO case is that the prosecutor can obtain an order, before trial, to seize the assets of the defendant. This may lead to extreme hardship for the defendant’s family, who depends on the seized assets to meet basic needs, so it is important to fight this attempt. Further, the legal penalties in a RICO case also are severe, with the potential for a 20 year prison term.
Here are a list of some of the criminal activities that fall within the terms of the RICO statute:
- Bankruptcy fraud;
- Drug dealing (as regulated by the Controlled Substances Act);
- Drug trafficking;
- Engaging in activities involving obscene materials;
- Money laundering;
- Obstruction of justice;
- Participating in activities involving the illegal entry of individuals into the United States;
- Securities fraud;
- Terrorism; and
- Violations of state gambling statutes.
In order to prove a RICO case, a federal prosecutor must build a clear picture of the activities that were committed in furtherance of the criminal organization, relying on complex evidentiary building blocks. Experienced RICO defense attorneys can challenge that evidence in order to demonstrate that the evidence is not sufficient for a RICO conviction. It is very important to have the right attorneys who can understand the often complicated documentary evidence in order to craft the appropriate defense.
Greco Neyland, PC Aggressively Defends Those Charged with RICO Violations
RICO cases involve many months/years of investigation in most cases by the prosecutor and federal agents. When a person has been charged, it is likely that the prosecutor believes he has a strong case and will attempt to force the accused to admit to his involvement in the ongoing criminal organization and provide information about other individuals or businesses that might be involved. It is very important to remain silent and assert the right to an attorney. Then, it is time to call the skilled and dedicated New York City Criminal Defense Attorneys at Greco Neyland, PC. We have an office in Manhattan that is located conveniently near the federal courthouses in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
We believe in providing quality representation as a fair and reasonable rate. We do not get hired to plead our clients’ cases out. We get hired to fight the case against the government, and only entertain a plea bargain when it is absolutely in our clients’ best interests. In order to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help you, call us at (212) 951-1300