Memorandum: Crime and Rico Defense Practice Essay examples

Submitted By sharon-morris
Words: 623
Pages: 3


It would be advantageous for our firm to continue to concentrate on the defense of clients involved in RICO charges. Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization law (RICO) in 1970 which targeted organized, illegal activity, such as what has been called “Mafia” or even large gangs which indulge in such activities. This law allows both criminal prosecutions on a federal level, but also civil actions from those that have been affected by such illegal activity. RICO allows the different criminal activities of an organization to be prosecuted under one prosecution, instead of multiple counts of various crimes committed. Many states also have enacted RICO laws, which are similar to the federal law but which, of course, are meant for “in state” criminal activity of a racketeering nature. This is a complex law and is being expanded to include white collar crimes and other illegal activities. It is a growing field in that prosecutions of biker gangs, finance companies, and other such entities are now being prosecuted under RICO which would be a lucrative addition to the firm’s practice. This would take more time and resources from the firm, of course, so it would be necessary to scale back on some areas of practice. But it would seem to be a growing “market” to specialize in RICO defense and reduce the company’s defense of misdemeanors and those cases which are not as complex and do not bring in the revenue that could possibly be attained in this ever expanding area of practice. One of the reasons the law is complex, as would be the defense, is that RICO laws emphasize a group’s numerous instances of illegal activity under one prosecution. The crimes that make up a racketeering charge are called “predicate crimes.” These predicate crimes could be murder, kidnapping, money laundering, and almost any other serious crime. The prosecution must be ready to prove at least two of the predicate crimes within a 10 year span under this law. This necessarily would include a lengthy investigation and a huge amount of discovery, witnesses and evidence. All the more reason for a defense of such crimes to be lucrative to the practice. For instance, under RICO, the following are considered federal crimes and the list grows as federal and state prosecutors find new “groups” to include under the RICO laws:…