NYC RICO & Enterprise Corruption Attorney
Both state and federal law criminalize participating in ongoing criminal organizations and punish those who are convicted with fines and jail time. To ensure that you are not unfairly prosecuted for a RICO or enterprise corruption offense, please contact our experienced NYC RICO & enterprise corruption attorney today.
Enterprise Corruption Under New York Law
In addition to the laws promulgated by the federal government, New York lawmakers passed a series of laws prohibiting organized crime-related activities, also known as enterprise corruption. Under state law, a person has committed enterprise corruption when he or she:
- Intentionally conducted or participated in a pattern of criminal activity; or
- Intentionally acquired an interest in or control of an enterprise by participating in a specific pattern of criminal behavior; or
- Participated in a pattern of criminal activity and invested proceeds derived from those activities in the enterprise.
However, to qualify as participating in a pattern of criminal activity, prosecutors must be able to prove that a person has:
- Committed two felony acts other than conspiracy;
- Committed two criminal acts, one of which was a felony offense, within five years of the enterprise’s commencement; and
- Committed three separate acts of illegal participation in a criminal enterprise, all of which occurred within three years of each other.
Enterprise corruption is a Class B felony in New York, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, unless the individual was armed during the commission of the crimes, in which case, his or her charges could be upgraded to Class A-I, which can come with a life sentence.
There are a number of limitations to this law, under which a person could avoid conviction, so if you are being investigated for enterprise corruption, it is critical to speak with an experienced fraud defense attorney about your legal options as soon as possible.
RICO Charges Under Federal Law
The same types of fraud-based activities that are prohibited under New York law are also forbidden under federal law. For instance, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act makes it unlawful to associate with an enterprise whose activities affect interstate commerce, by participating, whether directly or indirectly, in the conduct of that organization’s affairs through:
- A pattern of racketeering; or
- The collection of unlawful debt.
To qualify as a pattern of racketeering, a person must have committed at least two acts of racketeering activity within the last two years. Although initially passed in the 1970’s to crack down on organized crime rings operating in the U.S., RICO laws are now used to prosecute a wide range of conduct. In fact, racketeering activity can include everything from extortion and bribery to kidnapping and arson. The minimum sentence for someone who has been convicted of racketeering is two and one-half years in jail and a $25,000 fine, so if you are being investigated for involvement in a criminal enterprise, it is critical to seek representation right away.
Contact An Experienced NYC Fraud Defense Attorney
Please contact dedicated New York fraud defense attorney Mark I. Cohen, Esq. about your RICO and criminal enterprise charge-related questions and concerns. A member of our team can be reached at 212-732-0002 or via online message.