RICO / Racketeering Charges
A St. Louis Federal Crime Lawyer Can Protect Your Interests
RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) and racketeering charges may be filed against leaders of alleged criminal organizations for various types of criminal activities, from fraud to murder. These are some of the most complex federal cases and often involve lengthy investigations that may span a period of months, years or even decades. The nature of RICO charges and the amount of resources that the federal government will utilize in its attempt to put alleged organized crime leaders behind bars mandates the highest quality defense counsel.
At The Hammer Law Firm, LLC, federal defense representation is a key part of our legal practice. This is a focused area of law, with its own set of proceedings, criminal offenses and personnel that must be dealt with in an expert manner to seek the best possible result for a defendant. Our attorneys have more than three decades of legal experience and are former prosecutors who have seen how both sides of criminal proceedings work. We use this knowledge to offer our clients the aggressive and effective counsel they need in the face of RICO, racketeering and all other types of federal crime charges in Missouri.
About the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon. It was originally created and enforced with the intention of prosecuting the Mafia and others who were actively engaged in organized crime operations, primarily the leaders of these operations. Previously, organized crime leaders were able to escape prosecution because they did not commit criminal acts themselves but rather ordered others to do so or ran operations that allowed for the commission of these crimes to forward their interests. The RICO Act offered the federal government a way to prosecute these so-called "crime bosses."
Through the decades, the application of the RICO Act has been more widespread. A person may be charged under the RICO Act for pattern of racketeering activity, which requires at least two racketeering acts committed within 10 years of one another. Such racketeering acts may include:
- Violations of state laws applying to gambling, drugs, murder, kidnapping, extortion, robbery, bribery, arson or dealing in obscene matter;
- Violations of federal laws applying to counterfeiting, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, obstruction of justice, gambling, murder-for-hire, money laundering and more;
- Embezzlement of union funds;
- Drug trafficking;
- Bankruptcy fraud;
- Securities fraud;
- Immigration violations; and
- Acts of terrorism.
A person who is convicted under the federal RICO Act, proven to have committed any two of the various crimes covered under racketeering activity within a 10-year period, may face up to 20 years in prison. Enhanced penalties may apply, however, depending on the type and number of alleged crimes committed.
In addition to facing imprisonment in federal prison, a person convicted of racketeering may also be forced to forfeit any and all property, assets and other benefits gained from the business or organization that was involved in the RICO violations. Even during a trial and before a defendant's guilt or innocence is determined, the federal government may attempt to seize all assets and prevent the transfer of property. Victims of alleged RICO violations can also file civil suits against alleged offenders to seek monetary damages, equivalent to up to three times the amount of their losses.
Do not jeopardize your freedom, your reputation and your financial stability by hiring a subpar attorney. Contact a St. Louis federal crime attorney at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC and receive experienced insight plus aggressive representation when you need it most.