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What are the legal defenses and penalties for racketeering

In this article, we will explain how Criminal Profiteering is charged as well as how one may establish a defense against charges of Racketeering. Read on to learn more, and if you continue to have questions regarding Racketeering in the State of California, please consider contacting us for more information.

What are the penalties for racketeering?

Criminal Profiture can involve a number of crimes such as:

  • Forgery
  • Embezzlement
  • Arson
  • Gambling
  • Bribery
  • Money laundering
  • Human trafficking
  • Etc.

Any crimes that were involved in the process of Criminal Profiteering may be charged based on their own merit. For example, if you are caught working for an organized crime group to earn monetary gain through means of extortion and you use arson as a way of accomplishing this goal, charges will be pressed for racketeering in addition to charges for arson. Therefore, punishments for crimes falling under Criminal Profiteering may involve multiple charges– charges for racketeering and charges for the actual crimes made while racketeering.

Because the law’s primary goal is to prevent and deter the pursuit of monetary gain made by groups of organized crime, the main punishment that typically takes place for racketeering is forfeiture of gains made through these illegal means. In other words, property acquired through criminal profiteering will be taken control of by the state.

The prosecutor must have evidence that the property in question meets the following conditions:

  1. It was gained from a source that originally acquired it through means of criminal profiteering (such as with money laundering), or
  2.  It was gained by acts that would be categorized as criminal profiteering

How do I defend against Racketeering charges?

One of the most common defenses used against charges of racketeering is that the individual in question was not acting in alignment with the criminal organization that this individual may be a part of. 

It should also be noted that the language of the California Code on Criminal Profiteering (Section 186.2) cites the definition of Criminal Profiteering as “an act committed or attempted or a threat made for financial gain or advantage”. In other words, Criminal Profiteering must involve the potential for monetary gain or some kind of advantage. A crime that does not involve some kind of benefit, monetary or otherwise, does not count as Criminal Profiteering.

This article went over the basic punishments and legal defenses for acts of racketeering. If you or someone you know is currently being charged with Criminal Profiteering and would like to know more about these defenses and how forfeiture of property may be prevented, please contact us for a consultation. 

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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