Racketeering in San Diego
Racketeering involves the operation of any illegal business or enterprise. This includes fraudulent scams for an individual’s or entity’s personal profit.
This offense occurs under California Penal Code section 186 when criminal activities are carried out on behalf of a crime enterprise or association, or to further the goals of a group or organization. Some of these unlawful activities may include drug distribution, money laundering, murder, assault with a deadly weapon, etc..
According to the Racketeer Influenced and Corruptions Act or RICO, racketeering includes prostitution rings, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, counterfeiting, embezzlement, and extortion.
Racketeering Offenses May Also Be Federal Crimes
In consideration of the seriousness of the criminal enterprise, California has criminalized it under the California Penal Code Section 186. Likewise, the federal government has jurisdiction to file charges through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO).
Understanding Federal RICO
To convict a defendant under RICO, the Federal government must prove:
- The defendant engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activity;
- The last of which occurred within ten years of the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity;
- The defendant directly invested in, maintained an interest in, or participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.
Any threat or act prosecuted under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, that involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical under section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act.
Any individual, union or group of individuals associated in an illegal entity.
Understanding California Penal Code Section 186
In consideration of the seriousness of the criminal enterprise, California has criminalized it under Penal Code section 186. Under this law, “the Legislature finds and declares that an effective means of punishing and deterring criminal activities of organized crime is through the forfeiture of profits acquired and accumulated as a result of such criminal activities. It is the intent of the Legislature that the "California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act" be used by prosecutors to punish and deter only such activities."
Criminal Profiteering Activity:
Any act committed or attempted or any threat made for financial gain or advantage.
Pattern of Criminal Profiteering Activity:
Engaging in at least two incidents of criminal profiteering that have the same or a similar purpose, result, principals, victims, or methods of commission, or are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics. Which are not isolated events and were committed as a criminal activity of organized crime.
The severity of the penalties for a racketeering conviction are based on various factors surrounding the case such as whether or not the defendant has any prior felony convictions, is currently on probation or parole, the communities attitude toward racketeering crimes, the amount of media attention on the case, and other aggravating circumstances. Punishments of a racketeering conviction in San Diego may include:
• Prison sentence;
• Mandatory probation/parole/house arrest/counseling;
• Loss of certain constitutional rights;
• Forfeiture of assets;
• Large fines;
• Restitution paid to victims.
Your Best Defense against Charges for Racketeering in San Diego
If you find yourself in a situation where you could be charged with racketeering make sure to contact San Diego criminal attorney Vik Monder to defend you. It is important you understand the charges against you, recognize the potential for enhancements in your case and are made aware of the consequences of a conviction under these charges. We can also help you other charges involving fraud and various other criminal acts throughout San Diego.