What is RICO? The acronym stands for “Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act.” The law was passed in 1986 and has become an important tool for prosecutors in the fight against organized crime. While the financial repercussions of a RICO conviction are significant, many criminals seek to strike deals, surrender other members of their organization, or even cooperate with investigators. While the law was not intended to be used against individual criminals, it is useful in ongoing superstep.
To violate RICO, a person must be involved in an enterprise that engages in a pattern of racketeering activity or conspires to commit a substantive offense. Examples of violations of RICO include engaging in extortion, money laundering, and counterfeiting. These types of activities are hardly limited to businesses, and the definition of “enterprise” is broad. It can encompass any group of people who are affiliated together for the purpose of illegal activity.
The role of RICO in the era of organized crime is not entirely clear. In a 1990 article, a prominent mobster was arrested under RICO. But Blakey did not mention the Little Caesar connection in his defense. The New York Times, a New York newspaper, reported that Blakey was inspired by Blakey’s desire to fight against the mafia. But Blakey said that the connection between Little Caesar and RICO was merely speculation.
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