RICO Attorney – Could You Use One?
RICO attorney, it’s a profession that seems to be especially relevant in today’s politically-charged atmosphere. It seems that nowadays you cannot even turn on the television without hearing at least one story of a person in power using his or her authority for either money-laundering schemes or bribing or blackmailing other people or other similarly illegal activities. These are all examples of racketeering activity, which is what these attorneys focus on. Specifically, RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. It was passed in 1970 by congress in order to be able to lawfully charge the Mafia and other organized crime groups.
Several crimes constitute a racketeering violation. These include violations of state statutes against gambling, kidnapping, arson, murder, etc. Other examples of racketeering activity include bribery, embezzlement, theft, fraud, drug trafficking, money laundering, and any terrorist activity. In general terms, racketeering is the operation of an illegal business, in which organized crime is usually involved. In order to be charged under the act, one must have established against him- or herself a pattern of racketeering activity. This means that the person targeted must have committed at least two racketeering violations before charges can be brought against him or her, in which case RICO attorney would be hired.
In those cases in which a RICO lawsuit is brought against a person or group of people, a RICO attorney is usually hired to represent those who have the racketeering violation charges pending against them. However, they can also represent the victims of a racketeering criminal scheme. There are a few law firms around the country which primarily practice in civil litigation under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Ac. One is Chicago based, Foster PC.
There are also a lot of examples of famous cases involving the application of the RICO Act. One such case actually involved Major League Baseball. In 2002, the commissioner along with the former Montreal Expos’ owner was charged under the act for conspiring to devalue the team for personal benefit in order to move the team to Washington. That particular case was resolved in favor of Major League Baseball. In a very recent high-profile case, RICO was used to sue big tobacco companies for $300 billion. In both major cases, the clients involved were defended by a RICO attorney.