The offense of racketeering is a serious crime that consists of various offenses including gambling, robbery, extortion, or even murder. Racketeering includes multiple offenses that are the product of the operation of an illegal business or unlawful scheme carried out for profit.
Racketeering activities at the federal level are defined by federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) laws, but racketeering crimes are prosecuted through state laws as well. Massachusetts has an equivalent RICO law and criminalizes racketeering activities under the offense of "criminal enterprise activity." The law defines this as a "commission, attempt to commit, or the solicitation, coercion, aiding, abetting, or intimidation of another to commit" any of the crimes listed in the statute.
A Synopsis of Massachusetts Racketeering Laws
It's recommended that you work with an attorney to get a complete picture of what a statute really means. However, you can contribute to your knowledge prior to meeting with counsel by reading a condensed version of the law, stripped of legal jargon. Read on for a synopsis of racketeering laws in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts General Laws Part IV, Chapter 271A:
Elements of the Crime
Pattern of criminal enterprise activity:
- Engaging in at least 3 incidents of "criminal enterprise activity" that have the same or similar pattern, intent, result, victims, accomplices, principals, victims or methods of commission, or are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and must not be isolated events.
- The last of the incidents must have occurred within 5 years of another incident of criminal enterprise activity.
Examples of criminal enterprise activity include (but aren't limited to) the following:
- Assault and battery
- Criminal harassment
- Insurance fraud
- Identity fraud
- Malicious destruction of property
- Commission of a felony for hire
- Breaking and entering
- Child exploitation
- Misuse or fraudulent use of credit cards
- Human trafficking
The actual penalties in any criminal case will depend on the specific surrounding circumstances. Possible penalties may include the following:
- Forfeiture of assets
- Property liens
- Restitution to the victims
- Civil damages
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 266:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Massachusetts Racketeering Laws: Related Resources
Facing Racketeering Charges in Massachusetts? An Attorney Can Help
Racketeering is a serious crime especially since it involves numerous incidents of criminal activity. If you're facing charges in Massachusetts, then you should consider acting in your best interest and consulting with an experienced local criminal defense attorney. Contact one today to get started taking the next steps with your case.