Alfonzo McKeever, an owner of a body shop in Decatur, pleaded guilty to multiple racketeering charges. According to reports, McKeever crashed vehicles after they were brought into his shop in order to increase the damages paid by clients' insurance companies.
He was sentenced to two years in prison followed by thirteen years on probation. McKeever also must pay $19,000 to GEICO and $15,000 to Progressive in restitution.
Racketeering in Georgia
Racketeering, also known as RICO in Georgia, is defined by law as:
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. O.C.G.A. §16-14-4.
RICO is considered a felony offense in Georgia. This means that if convicted, the penalty can include up to twenty years in prison and a fine up to $25,000 or three times the amount of value gained by the violation.
Just as with the case above, a person convicted of RICO could also be required to pay the victims as a result of civil punishments as well. This can be done by the victims filing actions against the convicted person for up to three times the amount of damages they suffered.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime in Georgia, contact our offices today so that we can evaluate your case and determine what options are available to you.