Columbus, Ga. - According to authorities, a woman in Columbus has been charged with a total of 27 felonies. She has been accused of stealing from her employer for many years. She is charged with theft by taking in Georgia as well as RICO.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus on the RICO charge in today's post. RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
RICO in Georgia
Violations of RICO in Georgia are defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-14-4 as four different ways that a person can violate the act. These actions include:
- By directly or indirectly acquiring or maintaining any interest in or control of any enterprise, real property or personal property through a pattern of racketeering or the proceeds derived from the activity;
- By directly or indirectly participating in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity while being employed by, or associated with, the enterprise;
- By conspiring or endeavoring to directly or indirectly acquire or maintain any interest in, or control of, any enterprise, real property or personal property through a pattern of racketeering activity or the proceeds derived from a pattern of racketeering activity; or
- By conspiring or endeavoring to directly or indirectly participate in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity while being employed by, or associated with, the enterprise.
There are many crimes that can be used to show a pattern of unlawful conduct. The predicate crimes that fall under the RICO statute in Georgia include drug offenses, homicide, bodily injury, arson, burglary, forgery, theft, prostitution, obscene materials, bribery, witness tampering, perjury, evidence tampering, commercial gambling, distilling liquors and alcoholic beverages, firearm violations, securities violations, credit card fraud, computer crimes, kidnapping, carjacking, and making terroristic threats.
Any kind of violation of the RICO Act is classified as a felony. If the penalty is prison, the term will be between five and twenty years. If the penalty is a fine, it will not exceed the greater of $25,000.00 or three times the amount of any pecuniary value gained by him or her from such violation. The fine amount will be determined by a hearing.
A RICO violation is a serious crime. If you or a loved one is facing an accusation of criminal conduct, call our offices today.