What is Racketeering?
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Examples of Racketeering under the Rico Act

In this article, we will describe the RICO Act, specifically as it applies to the State of California. The RICO Act was created to criminalize individuals or organizations involved in Racketeering. This act helps to take away the power held by organized crime. To learn more about the RICO Act and definitions of Racketeering under this act, continue reading. If, after you’ve finished this article, you continue to have more questions, please consider contacting us for more information.

What is “Racketeering”?

Generally, Racketeering describes when an individual or an organized crime group provides services as a means of extortion and fraud. A characteristic of racketeering is that the service being provided is either not useful, solves a problem that is not real, or solves a problem created by the group offering said service. An example would be a service that protects against some sort of destruction of property that is only in danger of being destroyed by the group offering the protection; therefore, the “service” being offered is predatory in nature, does not provide a real benefit, and the victim is put in a position where they are unable to decline.  

What is the RICO Act?

The RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act was established as U.S law on October 19, 1970 as a way of disrupting organized crime and the power these organizations have by way of making racketeering charges. In California, laws against Racketeering are in the California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act. 

What counts as Racketeering under the RICO Act?

The definition of Racketeering is worded in the RICO Act as, “the elimination of the infiltration of organized crime and Racketeering into legitimate organizations operating in interstate commerce".

In order for charges to be made for Racketeering, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Multiple violations were made by an individual or organization within a certain array of crimes.
  2. These crimes were committed over the course of a ten-year long time frame.


In this article, we went over the RICO Act, which makes its goal to categorize acts of Racketeering as criminal offenses. If you are currently in the process of being charged for Racketeering or you would like to learn more about Racketeering or the RICO Act as it applies to California law, please consider contacting us for a consultation so that we can discuss how you may be defended.  

Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.

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