The Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act was passed by Congress in 1970. It was implemented because of the high levels of organized crime, something that needed to be addressed. While organizations such as the Mafia no longer have the same power as they did then, or at least not so prominently, there is still a lot of organized crime out there, and the RICO Act has proved to be very useful to prosecutors. It is commonly seen in an FBI probe into payday fraud, for instance. The Act is, however, quite complex and not everybody understands it. As shown on Chase Rubin LinkedIn profile, it actually isn’t as complicated as people may think.

Chase Rubin LinkedIn Explains the RICO Act

Someone can be charged under the RICO Act if it can be demonstrated that:

  1. That an organized crime enterprise exists.
  2. That the enterprise is involved in interstate commerce.
  3. That an individual was involved with the enterprise.
  4. That the individual took part in multiple racketeering acts.
  5. That these different acts were related.
  6. That these different acts were continuous.
  7. That the role of the individual as to participate in the enterprise’s racketeering efforts, by being responsible for at least two individual acts.

It doesn’t matter, therefore, whether someone had one victim or 70,000 victims. What matters is how many scamming acts they took part in, and as part of which organization. Chase Rubin, however, feels further explanation is needed on the different pieces of jargon used within this definition.

The Key Jargon

The first element is down to understanding what an enterprise is. This could be:

  • A group of individuals.
  • A union.
  • An association.
  • A business entity.
  • A natural person.

This is quite broad, therefore.

Then, there is the element of predicate racketeering. This means the government has to demonstrate that two racketeering acts happened in a 1o year time period, and that these two were related. This means that they have the same mode of commission, victims, participants, results, or purposes.

Then, there is the fact that they must be “continuous”. This means either that the act happened several times, or that there is a possibility that it will be repeated again. Continuity has to be shown to have taken place over more than just a few weeks. Rather, it must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. That the act was commissioned by the association, which purpose is criminal.
  2. That the act is part of how the defendant conducts its legitimate business.
  3. That the act is a regular element of a legitimate, ongoing enterprise.

Predicate acts under RICO Act include:

  • Dealing in controlled substances.
  • Dealing in obscene matter.
  • Extortion.
  • Bribery.
  • Robbery.
  • Arson.
  • Gambling.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Murder.

Punishment, meanwhile, is up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 or twice as much as what the offense earned the defendant. Any profits earned through the racketeering activity are also seized.