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What should you know about “RICO” cases?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Law

Our readers in Florida have probably seen a lot of news stories about “RICO” cases lately. After all, one of the highest profile RICO cases of all time is currently pending in a neighboring state. So, what should our readers know about the basics of a RICO case?

RICO basics

Well, for starters, “RICO” is an acronym for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Under this federal law, originally codified in 1970, suspects who are part of an organized criminal enterprise can face criminal charges even when it may be difficult to directly tie those individuals to specific criminal acts. So-called “little” RICO laws have been implemented by a handful of states, including Florida and neighboring Georgia.

When it was enacted back in 1970, the original federal RICO law was intended to be used against the so-called “mafia.” Individuals who were considered to be higher up in the loosely defined mafia structure were, at the time, difficult to connect to illegal moneymaking efforts.

As our readers have probably been able to see by the extensive news coverage of RICO cases, these cases can be sprawling and, as a result, difficult for prosecutors to pursue and ultimately prove. Illegal debt collection, money laundering and other efforts tied to alleged efforts to illegally earn funds can all be the source of RICO charges.

And, if a conviction results, the penalties can be especially harsh. If you are facing charges in a potential RICO case in Florida, be sure to get the right information about your criminal defense options.