If you or your business have been targeted as part of a RICO prosecution here in New York, your world can change in an instant. RICO racketeering activity investigations have often taken months or years to put together – and law enforcement will usually move quickly to freeze your accounts and seize assets.
At Varghese & Associates law offices, we’re not focused on whether or not you’ve committed a crime – we’re here to invoke your rights and protect you from prosecutors leveraging almost unlimited power under the RICO statute. We do not leave anything to chance when you’re facing RICO charges. As former prosecutors, we will make absolutely certain that you have the most robust criminal defense available – and we always aim to keep your life running as smoothly and comfortably as possible
The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner our criminal defense attorneys can start building your defense. Our law firm accepts clients from across New York City and beyond.
What is RICO and what kind of crimes does it cover?
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RICO – or The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Title 18 U.S.C. Chapter 96) – is a statute that addresses organized crime. Usually, RICO prosecutions are brought against someone prosecutors consider to be leading an organized crime enterprise.
The act covers a huge range of crimes under the umbrella of ‘racketeering activity. This broad list includes offenses that range from money laundering, bribery, mail fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and illegal gambling – through to some sex crimes, drug offenses (including drug trafficking), and even acts of terrorism against the United States.
To secure a conviction, prosecutors will need to prove that individuals have committed two ‘predicate acts’. This essentially means that prosecutors consider themselves able to show proof that a defendant has committed any two RICO offenses – or two instances of the same crime over a certain period of time.
Who will typically face charges under the RICO statute?
In many cases, RICO statutes have been used to bring charges against Mafia bosses and gang members – but RICO activities have also been attributed to high-ranking businesspeople in non-criminal organizations, ordained ministers of major religions, and even heads of major international non-profit organizations.
These kinds of charges are not reserved for the kind of traditional organized crime enterprise depicted in Hollywood movies. RICO charges are wide-ranging and powerful – and numerous individuals with links to completely legitimate New York businesses find themselves facing charges for activity that’s carried out by others in the name of their organization.
Possible RICO penalties
With such a range of possible crimes that the prosecution can include in a ‘pattern of racketeering’ – it’s probably no surprise to find that the possible penalties that state and federal courts can hand down are equally wide-ranging. Certain RICO violations can carry life imprisonment – although 20-year prison sentences are more common.
Of course, there’s also fines and forfeiture of funds, goods, or property which are considered to be the proceeds of organized crime. For organizations, fines can be up to $500,000 – and $250,000 for individuals.
When you schedule a consultation with one of our RICO attorneys, we’ll give you an accurate picture what you may be facing – as well as guidance around what your next steps should be and how we can start putting together a solid criminal defense.
RICO conspiracy charges
Here in New York, prosecutors have an extremely powerful weapon in their arsenal – RICO conspiracy charges.
In state and federal conspiracy cases, the prosecution needs to prove that a person has agreed with others to commit a crime with the same objective. However, in RICO conspiracy cases, the wide-range of possible predicate acts means that a person doesn’t need to have full knowledge of a specific act or the objective – the prosecution can simply claim that the defendant knows about the general nature of the activity and the plan.
Needless to say, this makes it far easier to secure a RICO conspiracy conviction – another reason to make sure you’ve got the very best attorney by your side.
How can our law firm help?
If you’re facing prosecution – or even suspect you’re under investigation as part of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case – Varghese & Associates, PC can help.
Our practice areas cover every crime that could be considered part of a pattern of racketeering activity under federal and state law. Our attorneys have represented numerous high-profile clients – and we have secured countless not-guilty verdicts, acquittals, and mistrials (often owing to errors and omissions made by federal agents).
Any racketeering activities that are deemed to be a violation of RICO rules could lead to life-changing penalties – and could even result in entire organizations being dismantled. When you face New York prosecutors, we’ll make sure you have a capable, confident, and experienced attorney aggressively fighting for you.
Get in touch with our New York NY law offices today
Don’t wait a second longer – a RICO case can move quickly. Without an experienced attorney fighting for you, RICO charges can result in crippling fines and lengthy prison sentences.
Talk to us today. We’ll arrange an initial consultation and case review – with a thorough evaluation of claims or charges that have been made against you.