Florida Racketeering / RICO Laws
Federal and state racketeering laws make it a crime for a criminal organization or enterprise to receive income through such an organization or enterprise’s “pattern of racketeering activity” or collection of unlawful debts. Like the federal Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, which prohibits an array of activities relating to any such enterprise engaged in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, the Florida RICO Act also criminalizes a wide swath of “racketeering activity.”
The term racketeering in the Florida statute means to commit, to attempt to commit, to conspire to commit, or to solicit, coerce, or intimidate another person to commit (a) “any crime that is chargeable by petition, indictment, or information” under specified sections of the Florida Statutes, or (b) any conduct defined as “racketeering activity” in the federal RICO Act.
Florida Racketeering / RICO Laws at a Glance
|Statute||Florida Statutes Title XLVI. § 895.03|
|Florida Racketeering Law: Offenses||The Florida RICO Act specifically makes it unlawful for any person:|
To use or invest any part of proceeds, derived directly or indirectly from a “pattern of racketeering activity” or through the collection of an unlawful debt, in the acquisition of any title, right, interest, or equity in real property or in the establishment or operation of any enterprise, where the person received such proceeds with “criminal intent.”
To acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest or control of any enterprise or real property through a pattern of racketeering activity or through the collection of an unlawful debt.
To be employed by, or associated with, any enterprise to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in such enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity or the collection of an unlawful debt.
To conspire or attempt to violate any of the provisions above.
|“Pattern of Racketeering” Defined||Engaging in at least two incidents of racketeering conduct that have the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission or that otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated incidents, where at least one such incident occurred after October 1, 1977, the effective date of the statute, and the last of such incidents occurred within five years after a prior incident of racketeering conduct.|
|Crime Classification, Sentences, and Penalties||1st degree felony|
Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
In lieu of such fine, any person convicted of racketeering activity through which the person derived pecuniary value (including money, or property or service that has a value of more than $100), or by which he or she caused personal injury, property damage or other loss, may instead be sentenced to pay a fine of treble damages.
|Defenses||Lack of knowledge|
Lack of “pattern of racketeering activity”