In 1970, Congress enacted the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to combat involvement in illegal business schemes and organized crime. Anyone who is involved in organized crime who commits a criminal offense is guilty of violating this Act and is punishable under 18 USC §1963 by up to 20 years in federal prison or by life imprisonment if such is required for the offense committed. The individual will also be required to forfeit any interest, security, claims, or property acquired through racketeering.

Crimes punishable as racketeering range from white collar crimes such as money laundering, bribery, and extortion, drug crimes, and computer crimes. As long as they are committed by an individual who is involved in a corrupt organization, it is racketeering. An organization can be considered a crime syndicate under RICO if it has committed at least 2 of any of the 35 listed crimes within a 10-year period. This means that a member of any organization that has been found guilty of two convictions could face RICO violation charges if they are charged with a crime themselves. The list of RICO offenses include:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Bribery
  • Extortion
  • Dealing in obscene matter
  • Drug dealing


Contact our offices right away for a case evaluation from a Chicago criminal defense lawyer with the experience to handle your case. Okabe & Haushalter has extensive experience fighting criminal charges of all types and is more than capable of obtaining a dismissal of your racketeering charges. Our client testimonials praise our firm for its ability to obtain results, and our case results demonstrate our success. The sooner you hire a skilled defense attorney, the better, so call today or complete our online evaluation form to find out what we can do for you.

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