What is an example of RICO?

Answered by Tom Adger

Popular Examples of RICO Cases in the United States

RICO, which stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is a federal law that was enacted in 1970 to combat organized crime. It provides for extended criminal penalties and civil remedies for activities performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. RICO cases typically involve a pattern of criminal behavior carried out by a group or organization. Here are some examples of high-profile RICO cases in the United States:

1. The Gambino Crime Family: The Gambino crime family is one of the infamous Mafia families in the United States. In 2008, several members of the Gambino family, including its boss, were indicted under RICO charges. The charges included racketeering, conspiracy, murder, extortion, and illegal gambling. The case revealed the extensive criminal activities and hierarchy of the Gambino family.

2. The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club: The Hells Angels is a notorious biker gang involved in various criminal activities. In 1987, the Hells Angels became the first motorcycle gang to be indicted under RICO charges. The case highlighted the gang’s involvement in drug trafficking, murder, extortion, money laundering, and other criminal activities.

3. The Colombo Crime Family: The Colombo crime family, another prominent Mafia family, has faced multiple RICO indictments over the years. In the early 1990s, several high-ranking members of the Colombo family were charged with racketeering, conspiracy, and murder. The case exposed the inner workings of the crime family and its involvement in organized crime activities.

4. The Latin Kings: The Latin Kings is a street gang that originated in Chicago and has since spread across the United States. In 2008, the leaders of the Latin Kings were indicted under RICO charges. The case revealed the gang’s involvement in drug trafficking, murder, robbery, and other criminal activities. It also highlighted the hierarchical structure and organized nature of the gang.

5. The Enron Scandal: While not a traditional organized crime case, the Enron scandal is an example of how RICO can be used to prosecute white-collar crimes. In 2006, several top executives of Enron, an energy company, were indicted under RICO charges. The case involved charges of securities fraud, conspiracy, and insider trading. It shed light on the corporate corruption and accounting fraud that led to the collapse of Enron.

These examples demonstrate the broad range of criminal activities that can be prosecuted under RICO. From traditional organized crime groups like the Mafia to street gangs and corporate fraud, RICO has been used to target and dismantle criminal organizations involved in a wide array of illegal activities. By imposing severe penalties and allowing for civil remedies, RICO has proven to be a powerful tool in the fight against organized crime and corruption in the United States.