RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, that was an Act passed by Congress in 1970 to control organized crime. Organized crime is described as an hierarchy established within a criminal organization that is characterized by illegal activity involving the accumulation of assets, reinvestment, political protection and the use of violence to safeguard interests. While the focus of RICO was initially limited to racketeering, the application of the RICO law has broadened since its original enactment. It now encompasses mail and wire fraud and also targets individuals, businesses, political protest groups, and terrorist organizations.
A RICO conviction carries heavy penalties including up to 20 years imprisonment and substantial fines. In addition, assets and business interests gained through criminal activity under RICO are subject to forfeiture. RICO charges can be brought through both criminal and civil litigation.
Under the RICO Act, the government is given an extraordinary tool in criminal and civil prosecution. You need an attorney who is skilled and experienced in representing RICO cases if charged with a RICO offense.
At Sands & Moskowitz, P.A., our attorneys prosecuted RICO cases for a number of years for the U.S. Department of Justice and since that time as criminal defense attorneys have defended clients in RICO cases through private practice. Our background brings a tremendous perspective to bear in developing RICO defense strategies.