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RICO Crimes Lawyers

A Brief Overview of RICO Cases
In October 1970, the 91st United States Congress enacted the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. It was primarily aimed at thwarting prominent crime families such as the Gambino and Bonanno families, but since its inception, RICO has been used in all kinds of cases relating to organized criminal enterprises.

While RICO began as a solely-federal statute, 33 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have since adopted similar laws to combat racketeering. Thus, RICO cases are no longer limited to federal courts.

What does it take to charge people under RICO?

To convict a defendant of racketeering under RICO, prosecutors must prove that a defendant violated at least two predicate offenses covered by the statute within a ten-year period. Most of these predicate offenses are serious felonies by themselves. They include:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal copyright infringement
  • Gambling offenses
  • Bribery
  • Extortion
  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Drug trafficking
  • Money laundering

This list is not exhaustive, but it demonstrates well the general idea. Since 1970, there have been some fascinating RICO cases, most of which did not involve traditional Italian crime families.

Famous RICO cases

The Montreal Expos and Major League Baseball

In July 2002, 14 Canadian companies accused Bud Selig, the MLB Commissioner, and Jeffrey Loria, the former owner of the Expos, of plotting to devalue the team for financial gain prior to its move to Washington. Neither man was criminally charged, but the RICO statute does contain a civil provision that allows parties injured by RICO violations to seek punitive damages. The case was eventually settled via arbitration, during which the MLB received a favorable ruling.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

United States v. Scott W. Rothstein

In 2010, Scott Rothstein’s $1.2 billion ponzi scheme, the largest in Florida’s history, finally unraveled, and Rothstein was arrested on federal racketeering charges. The prosecution subsequently offered him an agreeable plea bargain in exchange for his cooperation in the investigation. Unfortunately for Rothstein, his greed and arrogance were boundless; the prosecution withdrew its offer after discovering that Rothstein lied to investigators and attempted to hide assets after agreeing to cooperate.

Rothstein has served about eight years of his 50-year sentence and was recently denied a sentence reduction in federal court. If forced to serve his full sentence, he won’t be released until he’s 90 years old.

The “Kids for Cash” Scandal

The notorious “Kids for Cash” Scandal occurred in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in 2007 when a concerned parent contacted the Juvenile Law Center about sentencing irregularities in the county’s juvenile court. It was eventually discovered that two Luzerne County judges accepted approximately $2.5 million in kickbacks from two private juvenile detention centers in exchange for placing minor offenders in said facilities.

The scope of this scandal was unprecedented, involving more than 6,000 cases and 2,500 children. Judge Conahan received 17 years for his role in the scandal, and Judge Ciavarella, the more egregious of the two, received a sentence of 28 years in prison.

United States v. Kevin Eleby

While neither as sophisticated nor as well dressed as John Gotti, Kevin Eleby fits the textbook definition of a racketeer. In 2013, the former Los Angeles gang leader received a 25-year prison sentence after a federal court found him guilty of:

  • Conspiracy to violate the RICO Act
  • Drug trafficking (cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine)
  • Possession with intent to deliver
  • Firearm possession for the purpose of furthering a violent crime

The investigation into Eleby’s gang, the Pueblo Bishop Bloods, resulted in 45 federal indictments and 40 convictions.

Punishments for RICO violations

As illustrated in the cases above, punishments for RICO violations can be quite severe. Along with stiff prison terms, RICO convictions also usually involve punitive damages and the seizures of ill-gotten funds, assets and businesses. Because of their wealth and criminal reach, RICO defendants are also usually deemed flight risks, which often results in astronomical bail amounts or even remand.

Anyone facing charges relating to the RICO Act should talk to a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Racketeering means operating an illegal business for profit, or engaging in fraudulent schemes. Racketeering is charged under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. RICO. This encompasses a large number of criminal offenses – such as extortion, money laundering, federal drug offenses, murder, gambling, arson, bribery ,counterfeiting, and anything else criminal – connected with an “enterprise,” defined as any group or union or business,  though not a legal entity. Racketeering prsoecutions and defenses are extremely, jargon heavy, complicated legal issues. In order to make sure you have the proper defense, you need a RICO law firm who understands how these cases are handled.

If you believe charges are imminent, you need to hire our law firm as soon as possible.

Consequences for a conviction of racketeering can include: long term imprisonment, probation, parole, loss of right to be bonded, payment of restitutions, forfeiture of assets, and significant fines. Defenses of racketeering can include: proving insufficient evidence, proving factual innocence, proving illegal police activity, showing lack of knowledge of the illegal activity.

Trustworthy NYC Rico Lawyers

RICO was designed to address organized crime. The RICO act targets activities which are in the furtherance of ongoing criminal organizations. RICO charges can be brought by both state and federal governments, and it’s a very typical federal indictment. The RICO can provides a civil cause of action, in order to recover damages that result from criminal actions. Under RICO, a person can get treble damages, which can lead to huge financial devastation to a defendant’s family and/or business. RICO charges are now mostly brought up against individuals/businesses, which is beyond the scope of the original act. There’s a list of designated crimes which fall under the scope of RICO. When a person/corporation commits 2 of the 35 potential criminal acts, within a period of 10 years, he/she can be prosecuted for RICO violations. RICO cases are known as high profile cases for prosecutors – which gives them great incentive to turn them into witch hunts – in order to generate immense media attention. In many cases, people at the wrong place / wrong time, are caught up in these witch hunts and wrongly prosecuted.

Federal prosecutors often take a vital role in these cases, by relying on the federal government to provide immense resources. If you’re facing a RICO accusation, you need to have an NYC rico lawyer who understands how to fight and win these cases. One of the dangers of RICO cases is that the prosecutor will do his level best to get an order, before trial, to seize your assets. This can lead to extreme hardship for you and your family – who rely on the seized assets in order to meet your basic needs. Legal penalties for RICO can be severe, with a potential for a 20 year prison term.

Criminal activities covered under RICO
Bankruptcy fraud;
Drug dealing (as regulated by the Controlled Substances Act);
Drug trafficking;
Engaging in activities involving obscene materials;
Money laundering;
Obstruction of justice;
Participating in activities involving the illegal entry of individuals into the United States;
Securities fraud;
Terrorism; and
Violations of state gambling statutes.

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