The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law that was enacted in 1970 to combat organized crime. RICO is a powerful tool that prosecutors can use to go after individuals and organizations that are involved in a pattern of criminal activity.
What is RICO?
RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. It is a federal law that was enacted in 1970 to combat organized crime. RICO makes it a crime to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity.
History of RICO
RICO was enacted in response to the growing problem of organized crime in the United States. The law was drafted by G. Robert Blakey, an adviser to the United States Senate Government Operations Committee. RICO was passed by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.
What Crimes Are Covered by RICO?
RICO covers a wide range of criminal activities, including:
- Money laundering
- Drug trafficking
What is a “pattern of racketeering activity”?
To be convicted of a RICO violation, the government must prove that the defendant engaged in a “pattern of racketeering activity.” This means that the defendant must have committed at least two acts of racketeering activity within a 10-year period.
How Does RICO Work?
RICO is a complex law, but it can be broken down into three basic elements:
- The defendant must have engaged in two or more acts of racketeering activity.
- The acts of racketeering activity must have been committed through an “enterprise.”
- The enterprise must have been engaged in interstate or foreign commerce.
Penalties for RICO violations
The penalties for RICO violations are severe. Individuals convicted of RICO violations can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. Additionally, the defendant may be fined up to $25,000 per racketeering count and ordered to forfeit all of their assets that were derived from the racketeering activity.
RICO in the News
RICO has been used in a number of high-profile cases, including the prosecution of the Gambino crime family and the Mafia Commission. RICO has also been used to prosecute individuals and organizations involved in a variety of other criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, terrorism, and financial fraud.
RICO is a powerful tool that prosecutors can use to go after individuals and organizations that are involved in a pattern of criminal activity. RICO has been used to successfully prosecute a wide range of criminal cases, and it continues to be an important tool in the fight against organized crime.