Rico Act Essay

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The RICO Act has been an important component in addressing organized and white collar crime. Write a five page (double-spaced) essay that summarizes the RICO Act and its impact on organized and white collar crime. Be sure to support your thoughts with information from our readings.

Rico Act Essay

The term “Rico Act” stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Codified as chapter 96, Title 18, of the United States Code which was passed by Congress in 1970. The purpose of the Act was to eliminate the ill-affects of organized crime on the nation’s economy. The Rico Act provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The
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Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity." RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of such an enterprise to file a civil lawsuit and collect monetary damages. Despite its harsh provisions, a RICO-related charge is considered easy to prove in court, as it focuses on patterns of behavior as opposed to criminal acts.
Although some of the RICO predicate acts are extortion and blackmail, one of the most successful applications of the RICO laws has been the ability to indict or sanction individuals for their behavior and actions committed against witnesses and victims in alleged retaliation or retribution for cooperating with federal law enforcement or intelligence agencies. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of bringing organized crime members to justice, ten years passed before the first RICO convictions were obtained. Throughout the 1970s crime families continually fought for power over the many racketeering enterprises that brought in huge sums of money. The National Conference on Organized Crime in 1975 estimated that mob
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