RICO Violation Lawyers

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Generally speaking, RICO (Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act) makes it unlawful for a person to use an enterprise to launder money generated by a pattern of racketeering activity.

How Can a Claim be Proved?

How can a claim be proved that a person has acquired or maintained an interest in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity? This is one of the most difficult claims to make.  An example of such a claim would be that of a business owner who had borrowed money from a loan shark and has been unable to repay the debt.  The loan shark gives him an ultimatum- either turn over his business or die.  Because he values his life more than his business, he turns the business over to the loan shark.  Although the owner remains so on paper, the loan shark will receive the income generated by the business.  In this way, the loan shark has acquired an interest in the company through racketeering behavior.

What Damages Can a Civil RICO Plaintiff Gain?

A civil RICO plaintiff is entitled to treble damages, attorneys' fees and costs under RICO.

How Can You Prove a Civil RICO Claim?

There are several elements to a civil RICO claim that must be proved in order to win. You must show that a defendant was employed by a business or enterprise that engaged in or affected interstate commerce which defendant operated or managed through a pattern of racketeering activity from which the injury resulted.

Who Qualifies as a Defendant in a RICO Claim?

A defendant can be an individual or a corporation so long as the defendant was engaged in the criminal activity prohibited by RICO.  Naming an entity as simply a RICO enterprise does not impose any liability on that entity.  A person must be identified. 

What Qualifies as an Enterprise in a RICO Claim?

An enterprise can be a legal entity such as a partnership, corporation, or other similar type of association as well as an illegal entity such as a Mafia family. 

What Can You Do if You are Accused of a RICO Violation?

If you are accused of a RICO violation, you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.

Victims of a RICO Violation

If you are a victim of a RICO violation, you should call the police.  If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the Attorney General's office to prosecute the person or organization that committed the RICO Violation against you.

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Last Modified: 08-06-2009 10:08 AM PDT

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