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Racketeering in the State of California

In this article, we will be addressing the definition of racketeering as it applies to California law as well as offer an example of an act that could be considered to be racketeering. Read on to learn more about this form of crime, and if you continue to have questions, please consider contacting us for more information.

What is “racketeering”?

Generally, “racketing” refers to a practice often committed by groups of organized crime to extort someone into buying their service which may not result in any gain from the victim. Two sections in California’s chapter on Criminal Profiteering that criminalizes racketeering are: Penal Code Section 186.2 and Penal Code Section 186.3. Below are explanations of what these individual sections cover.

Section 186.2 on Chapter 9 of California’s Code on Criminal Profiteering defines Criminal Profiteering in the following way:

“‘Criminal profiteering activity’ means an act committed or attempted or a threat made for financial gain or advantage…”

Section 183.2, which describes laws on gains made from criminal profiteering continues to state, “In any case in which a person is alleged to have been engaged in a pattern of criminal profiteering activity, upon a conviction of the underlying offense, the assets listed in subdivisions (b) and (c) shall be subject to forfeiture upon proof of the provisions of subdivision (d) of Section 186.5.

(b) Any property interest whether tangible or intangible, acquired through a pattern of criminal profiteering activity.

(c) All proceeds of a pattern of criminal profiteering activity, which property shall include all things of value that may have been received in exchange for the proceeds immediately derived from the pattern of criminal profiteering activity.”

What is an example of racketeering?

The following example would describe an act of racketeering:

Joe runs a couple of local stores in his area. One day, he is offered a service from a leader of a group of organized criminals. The deal is that in exchange for a fee, they will provide the service of anti-arson protection. However, if Joe declines this offer, the group will then proceed to set one of his stores on fire. 


This article went over the basics of criminal profiteering and the California law against these acts. If you are currently being charged with criminal profiteering or know someone who is, please consider contacting us for a consultation so 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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