Unraveling the Crime of Racketeering

A diverse group walking

Racketeering, pursuant to Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States Code, is a federal crime most often associated often associated with organized crime and encompasses a broad spectrum of criminal activity. Commonly prosecuted under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, racketeering is a complex crime to both prosecute and defend.

Elements of Racketeering

To establish a racketeering offense, several key elements must be demonstrated:

Enterprise: The existence of an enterprise, which could be an individual, group, or organization engaging in ongoing criminal activities.

Pattern of Racketeering Activity: This entails engaging in at least two instances of specific criminal acts within ten years. These acts must be related and indicative of the enterprise’s illegal operations.

Participation in the Enterprise: The accused must have some form of involvement, directly or indirectly, in the enterprise's operations or activities.

Examples of Racketeering

Racketeering involves various criminal behaviors and can encompass a wide array of illegal activities. Common examples of racketeering activities include:

Extortion: Extortion involves demanding something in exchange for the victim avoiding harm. For example, a criminal organization intimidates business owners by demanding protection money in exchange for avoiding harm or damage to their property. This is considered extortion and the criminal organization could face racketeering charges for this type of activity.

Money Laundering: A criminal organization creates a network that disguises the origins of illicit funds through a series of financial transactions to make illegally obtained money appear legitimate. For example, a criminal organization pretends to run a waste management business but really the money is coming from illegal drug sales.

Illegal Gambling: Operating an illegal gambling ring involving various forms of betting, such as sports betting or underground casinos, is one way to be charged with racketeering.

Drug Trafficking: Engaging in the distribution, manufacturing, or sale of illegal substances, such as narcotics or controlled drugs, can land someone in custody for racketeering.

Fraud: Instances involving mail fraud, wire fraud, or other fraudulent schemes intended to deceive for financial gain are common activities associated with racketeering.

Defenses Against Racketeering Charges

Defending against racketeering charges requires a multifaceted approach.

Lack of Involvement: Proving that the defendant had no direct or indirect participation in the alleged criminal enterprise or its activities can be a strong defense. Lack of association with the enterprise’s operations can weaken the prosecution’s case.

Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s ability to demonstrate a clear pattern of racketeering activity within the defined timeframe could weaken the case. Insufficient evidence to prove a continuous pattern of criminal acts might undermine the charges.

Unlawful Collection of Evidence: If evidence against the accused was obtained through unlawful means, such as illegal searches or seizures, it can be grounds for exclusion, weakening the prosecution's case.

Lack of Intent: Establishing that the accused did not have the requisite intent to engage in the alleged criminal activities can form a strong defense. Lack of knowledge or intent to commit the specific criminal acts might be crucial in building a defense.

Defending against racketeering charges demands a comprehensive understanding of the law, meticulous examination of the evidence, and strategic deployment of defense strategies. It is absolutely essential to hire a lawyer who will meticulously review the prosecution’s evidence, challenge the elements of the offense, and leverage applicable defenses to secure the best outcome for the accused.

If you have been charged racketeering, it is necessary that you discuss your case immediately with a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut has extensive experience representing clients in federal court and understands the nuances of racketeering charges.

For more information about the criminal justice process, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Featured on CNN
ABC News
NBC News
Los Angeles Times
CBS News
The New York Times
Us Weekly
Entertainment Tonight
Good Morning America
Legal Broadcast Network
Avvo Rating 10.0
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.