Miami Racketeering Lawyer
Racketeering is an extremely complicated crime. In brief, however, racketeering typically involves operating a large-scale criminal enterprise through which other financial and violent crimes often occur.
Many of us have heard of federal prosecutions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Indeed, RICO has been used to prosecute members of many criminal organizations, including Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, the Mafia, Catholic dioceses, politicians, and even members of police departments.
In many cases, racketeering charges also involve accusations of other crimes. You can face both federal and state charges for racketeering. When you’ve been charged with this very serious offense, it’s essential to speak with an experienced Miami racketeering lawyer. At the law firm of Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC, we have been defending clients in South Florida for years. We understand the complexities and nuances of racketeering laws, and we can take a look at your case today.
Defining Racketeering in Florida
Racketeering charges frequently are connected to organized crime, and any member of a criminal organization can face severe penalties for their involvement in racketeering. Under the U.S. Code and RICO, racketeering activity involves “any act of threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or chemical.” The federal RICO act, it is considered illegal to acquire, establish, or operate an enterprise with illegally derived income, acquire or maintain an interest in or control of an enterprise through illegal activity, or using an enterprise to commit illegal acts.
Racketeering is also a crime under Florida law. Chapter 895 of the Florida Statutes is known as the Florida RICO statute, and it defines racketeering in similar terms under state law. The Florida RICO statute is modeled on the federal RICO statute.
Federal and State Racketeering Charges
There are certain distinctions between the federal RICO and Florida RICO statutes, however. Notably, the federal and state statutes have separate requirements for evidence of racketeering conduct in order to obtain a conviction. Under federal law, a prosecutor must prove that a defendant committed two predicate acts within a ten-year period. Under state law, a prosecutor must show that the defendant has been involved in two or more incidents of racketeering within five years of one another.
These laws are extraordinarily complex, and you shouldn’t have to prepare a defense on your own. The Miami racketeering lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC have decades of experience handling criminal defense cases in Florida. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with your racketeering defense.
RICO Statutes and Criminal Prosecutions
Traditionally, RICO statutes were aimed at prosecuting members of organized crime. However, both federal and state prosecutors employ RICO statutes to prosecute many different types of cases. State crimes that can be prosecuted under RICO statutes include, but are not limited to, some of the following:
- Money laundering;
- Medicare fraud;
- Tax fraud and tax evasion;
- Mortgage fraud;
- Insurance fraud;
- Bank fraud; and
- Other financial crimes and white collar offenses.
On the federal level, RICO includes a long list of crimes that can be considered racketeering activity. This include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Various fraud charges
- Money laundering
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Murder for hire
- Obstructing justice or a criminal investigation
- Gambling offenses, and more.
Contact an Experienced Miami RICO Lawyer
A racketeering conviction can result in serious penalties of fines and imprisonment. If you have been charged with racketeering at the state or federal level you will need to have an experienced Miami RICO and racketeering lawyer on your side to assist with your case. Contact our office today to learn about how we can help.