Florida White Collar Crime Lawyers
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law in the United States that imposes criminal penalties on those engaged in ongoing, organized criminal associations. RICO also establishes grounds for civil lawsuits against those engaged in organized criminal activity.
Individuals convicted of RICO violations face serious criminal penalties including up to life imprisonment in a federal penitentiary. The Florida white collar criminal litigation team at Podhurst Orseck represents clients under investigation or accused of RICO violations, helping them respond to federal investigations and defend against accusations of criminal acts.
What Constitutes a RICO Violation?
Individuals who are members of organized enterprises that commit certain criminal acts may be charged with racketeering under RICO. A racketeering charge carries a potential penalty of up to $25,000 and a potential term of incarceration of up to 20 years per count of racketeering.
Thirty-five predicate offenses or criminal acts can result in racketeering charges under RICO. These predicate offenses include federal crimes and state crimes. Offenses include:
- Murder and murder-for-hire
- Gambling crimes
- Fraud or embezzlement
- Controlled substance and drug crimes including drug trafficking
- Criminal acts related to dealing in obscene matter
- Copyright infringement
- Money laundering
- Smuggling aliens into the country for financial gain
Any individual who is a member of a group that commits two or more of these or other predicate offenses within a ten-year period of time may face charges for racketeering under RICO.
RICO laws allow federal agents broad latitude to investigate criminal acts and to attempt to establish a pattern of behavior suggestive of association with a criminal enterprise.
Podhurst Orseck’s White Collar Criminal Defense Team
Podhurst Orseck has been recognized on the local and national level as skilled and savvy litigators. U.S. News & World Report named our attorneys as among the Top Lawyers of 2013, and our firm has received numerous accolades for our criminal defense work and client advocacy. Several of our attorneys have a background as federal prosecutors, giving us unique insight into how prosecutors think, how they approach RICO cases and the arguments they make to advocate these types of cases.