Racketeering crimes

Racketeering Crimes

What Is Racketeering?

Racketeering refers to a pattern of illegal activities carried out by an organized group, often referred to as a criminal enterprise or syndicate. Racketeering crimes are typically associated with organized crime groups, and they involve engaging in a variety of illegal activities for financial gain or exerting control over certain territories or industries.

The term “racketeering” is commonly used in the United States and is closely associated with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which was enacted in 1970 to combat organized crime. Under the RICO Act, certain offenses are considered racketeering crimes when committed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Federal Racketeering can include a wide range of illegal activities, such as:

Extortion – Obtaining money, property, or services through coercion, threats, or intimidation.

Money Laundering – Concealing the origins of illegally obtained money or assets to make them appear legitimate.

Bribery – Offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting something of value to influence the actions of a person in a position of power.

Fraud – Engaging in deceptive practices to obtain money, property, or services by false pretenses.

Illegal Gambling – Operating or participating in unlawful gambling activities, such as illegal casinos or sports betting.

Drug Trafficking – Illegally manufacturing, distributing, or selling controlled substances.

Prostitution – Engaging in or facilitating the exchange of sexual services for money.

Counterfeiting – Producing or distributing counterfeit money, goods, or documents.

Loan Sharking – Offering loans at extremely high-interest rates, often accompanied by threats or violence to ensure repayment.

Illegal Arms Trafficking – Illegally manufacturing, selling, or transporting firearms or other weapons.

These are just a few examples of racketeering crimes. The specific activities and offenses associated with racketeering can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the criminal enterprise involved. Racketeering laws are intended to target not only individuals who commit these crimes but also the larger criminal organizations and the network of individuals involved in their operations.


Racketeering is a serious offense in the United States that involves engaging in illegal activities as part of an organized criminal enterprise. The primary federal statute used to prosecute racketeering crimes is the RICO act. RICO provides for both criminal and civil penalties for racketeering offenses. Under RICO, the criminal penalties for racketeering crimes can include fines, imprisonment, and asset forfeiture.

Here are the general penalties for racketeering offenses under federal law:

Fines – Individuals convicted of racketeering offenses under RICO can face substantial fines. The maximum fine for an individual is $250,000 or twice the proceeds obtained from the racketeering activity, whichever is greater.

Imprisonment – Individuals convicted of racketeering offenses can be sentenced to imprisonment. The maximum prison term for racketeering is 20 years. However, if the underlying racketeering activity involves murder, kidnapping, or a few other specific offenses, the maximum prison term can be life imprisonment.

Asset Forfeiture – RICO allows for the forfeiture of any property or proceeds derived from racketeering activities. This means that individuals or organizations involved in racketeering can lose their ill-gotten gains, including money, real estate, vehicles, and other assets.

It’s important to note that the penalties for racketeering offenses can vary depending on the specific crimes committed, the severity of the offenses, the involvement of individuals, and other factors. The above penalties are general guidelines, and the actual penalties imposed in a given case may be subject to judicial discretion.

Responsibilities of Defense Attorneys Representing Individuals Accused of Federal Racketeering Offenses:

Legal Representation – Defense attorneys practicing in this field provide legal representation to individuals or organizations charged with federal racketeering crimes. They handle all aspects of the legal process, from the initial investigation to trial and potential appeals.

Case Assessment – Racketeering cases are often complex and involve multiple defendants and intricate criminal networks. Attorneys assess the evidence, examine the charges, and develop a defense strategy accordingly.

Defense Strategy Development – Attorneys analyze the specific circumstances of the case to determine the most effective defense strategy. This may involve challenging the prosecution’s evidence, questioning the credibility of witnesses, or identifying procedural errors.

Plea Negotiation – In some instances, attorneys may engage in plea negotiations with the prosecution. They work to secure favorable plea bargains for their clients, which may involve reduced charges or penalties.

Trial Preparation and Litigation – If the case proceeds to trial, attorneys prepare the necessary legal arguments, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and present a strong defense on behalf of their clients. They cross-examine prosecution witnesses and challenge the validity of their testimony.

Legal Research and Analysis – Attorneys stay updated on federal laws and legal precedents related to racketeering crimes. They conduct extensive research to understand the intricacies of the case and identify relevant legal arguments.

Client Counseling – Attorneys provide guidance and support to their clients throughout the legal process. They explain the charges, potential outcomes, and available options, allowing clients to make informed decisions about their defense.

Appeal Process – If a client is convicted, attorneys can handle the appeals process by identifying legal errors during the trial and arguing for a reversal or reduction of the conviction or sentence.

Federal racketeering crimes attorneys need a comprehensive understanding of federal criminal law, as well as expertise in complex investigations, conspiracy charges, and organized crime statutes. Their primary objective is to protect their clients’ rights and mount a strong defense against racketeering charges in federal court.

The lawyers at the Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm are admitted to practice in federal court and have over three decades of experience defending the rights of their clients. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to provide the best possible defense of these charges.

To schedule a Strategy Session with an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact the Attorneys For Freedom today. We can be reached online at AttorneysForFreedom.com or by calling our Arizona office at 480-755-7110 or our Hawai’i office at 808-647-2423.


Arizona Office Address:
3185 S. Price Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-755-7110
Hawai’i Office Address:
1003 Bishop Street, Suite 1260 Pauahi Tower
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813
Phone: 808-647-2423
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