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RICO Act Violations

Accused of racketeering?

Racketeering, the conducting a pattern of illegal activities as part of an enterprise controlled by those engaged in the illegal activity has always coexisted with business. Congress passed the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act (RICO), to specifically penalize racketeering activities by organized crime organizations and others engaged in racketeering activities.

Critics of RICO claim that it has expanded beyond its original purpose of eradicating traditional organized crime groups to convict nonviolent criminals and sentence them to long, undeserved prison terms. If you have been charged with a RICO Act violation, you should contact Seattle Federal Criminal Defense Attorney, Steve M. Wells for immediate assistance.

Why the Law Office of Steve M. Wells?

  • Nearly 20 years of experience
  • Featured in Alaska's Super Lawyers®
  • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • A founding President of the Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Free case evaluations

Federal RICO Crimes

Congress passed RICO as a part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968). At that time, organized crime in the United States had been increasing ever since the prohibition of alcohol was repealed in 1933.

Crime groups and families that were bootlegging moved into other profitable ventures, namely controlling legitimate businesses and using them as fronts for criminal activity. Since its enactment, RICO has proved a powerful tool in the federal government's war against organized crime.

While racketeering means any act or threat that involves murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, or extortion, its sweeping term includes:

  • Embezzlement from pension or welfare funds
  • Money Laundering
  • Loan Sharking
  • Slavery or Trafficking Persons
  • Sexual Exploitation of Children
  • Bribery
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Counterfeiting
  • Theft from Interstate Shipment

Under RICO, any person who has committed at least two acts of racketeering activity (drawn from a list of 35 crimes) within a 10-year period, can be charged with racketeering and face up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per each racketeering count. Additionally, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest acquired through a pattern of racketeering activity.

Contact a Seattle Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Racketeering charges cannot be taken lightly. If you have been accused of a racketeering violation, you are strongly urged to contact Attorney Steve Wells for aggressive legal representation. As a nationwide presenter for continuing legal education seminars for other attorneys, he has the knowledge and experience your situation demands.

Contact the firm today to discuss your case in a free, confidential case evaluation!

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