Harrisburg RICO Attorney
What is Racketeering?
Racketeering is the act of acquiring a business through illegal activity, operating a business with illegally-derived income, or using a business to commit illegal acts.
Racketeering activity is a serious crime at both the state and federal level. Whether you are facing RICO charges or state corrupt organizations convictions, you need an iron-fisted attorney to fight for your defense. At EKHP Law, LLC, lead Attorney Elisabeth K. H. Pasqualini will represent your case aggressively in court and do her best to win the most favorable outcome in your situation. You deserve a lawyer who knows how to win and will push the courts in your defense.
Common Types of Racketeering
Examples of racketeering activity under RICO include criminal operations such as:
- illegal gambling
- prostitution rings
- drug trafficking
Federal RICO Laws
When the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was first introduced, it was aimed at prosecuting the mafia. Today, it is the legal basis for prosecuting many forms of organized crime and has even broader applications, such as street gangs, gang cartels, corrupt police departments, and even politicians.
In order to convict someone under RICO, it is not necessary to prove the suspect personally committed an illegal activity. Instead, prosecutors must prove:
- The defendant owns and/or manages an organization
- The organization regularly performs one or more specific illegal activities
To violate RICO, a person must engage in a pattern of racketeering activity connected to an enterprise, which might be a crime family, drug cartel, corporation, or political party. Be aware that to charge under RICO, at least 2 such crimes within 10 years must have been committed through the enterprise. The criminal RICO statute provides for 20 years of jail time and severe financial penalties.
Note that although RICO was initially enacted to prosecute famous crime rings, it has also been used in many other scenarios. For example, RICO charges were brought against pro-life activists for illegally blocking the entrance to abortion clinics, and in another instance members of the Catholic Church sued several clergy men under RICO for reportedly allowing priests to molest children.
State Racketeering Laws
While RICO introduces federal regulations for racketeering activity, Pennsylvania also has its own Corrupt Organizations Act that similarly criminalizes the infiltration and corruption of legitimate businesses by organized crime within the state.
Prohibited activities under Pennsylvania’s Corrupt Organizations Act are:
- Using or investing, directly or indirectly, any part of income derived from a pattern of racketeering activity in which you are the principal participant
- Acquiring or maintaining, directly or indirectly, any interest in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity
- Conducting or participating, directly or indirectly, in such an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity, where the person is employed by or associated with the enterprise
- Conspiring to violate any of the statute's provisions
To secure a corrupt organizations conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant participated in a pattern of racketeering activity within the state listed above
- The gain derived from the racketeering activity was channeled into an enterprise in the state for the purpose of corrupting that enterprise and gaining a foothold for organized crime
What are the Penalties for Racketeering?
Racketeering is charged as a first degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, as well as significant fines. Some defenses against racketeering charges include claiming lack of "pattern of racketeering activity" or claiming compulsion or entrapment to commit the act in question.
Contact EKHP Law, LLC for a Free Consultation
If you are facing racketeering charges at a federal or state level, it is wise to seek an experienced RICO attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Elisabeth K. H. Pasqualini at EKHP Law, LLC can take on your case with a sharp and aggressive eye. You can trust her to fight fearlessly for you in trial, and she can make the difference between a severe and minor conviction in your federal or state racketeering case.
Speak with Attorney Pasqualini at EKHP Law, LLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.
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