Racketeering is an organized crime of operating an illegal business of sorts in order to earn some kind of profit. Obviously, this is a very broadly-defined act, encompassing anything from counterfeiting money to illegal gambling. In order to better hide their illicit activities, racketeers will typically have some type of cover-up business. Other times, racketeering might utilize bribery or blackmail to keep their illegalities concealed from the government.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, passed in 1970, is a measure set in place by the United States government in an attempt to reduce the number of racketeering activities and organized criminal incidents that occur in the US. This law was initially set in place to specifically target Mafia-related activities, although over time it has come to encompass a much broader range of crimes.
Typical activities that fall under violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act include the following:
- Bribery or sports bribery
- Embezzlement of welfare funds
- Mail, wire, or financial institution fraud
- Money laundering
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Illegal gambling
All of these activities fall under violation of the RICO act. In the 1980’s, people began taking advantage of the wide scope of this law, so measures were taken in the 1990’s to limit its breadth. Because of this, RICO has become an extremely complex law.
If you have been charged with racketeering, or if you would like more information on racketeering, please do not hesitate to contact the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 today.