Racketeering is often associated with organized crime or drug trafficking. However, racketeering encompasses much more than that because it refers to multiple offenses that can consist of "rackets," or crime rings, which reflect the operation of an unlawful business or illegal scheme that is run for profit. Racketeering includes an extensive array of offenses such as prostitution, gambling, embezzlement, in addition to violent crimes such as kidnapping, robbery, and murder.
Although racketeering often involves federal crimes, it's also prosecuted through state laws. Like other states, Michigan has laws modeled after the federal RICO laws that prohibit racketeering.
Michigan Racketeering Laws at a Glance
The chart below provides a summary of statutes related to Michigan's racketeering laws, including links to important code sections.
Elements of the Crime
Michigan requires that the "pattern of racketeering activity" requires at least 2 incidents of racketeering that have the same or similar purposes, results, victims, methods of commission, or are otherwise interrelated.
- The activities amount to or pose a threat of continued criminal activity.
- At least 1 of the incidents occurred in Michigan on or after the effective date of the law and the last of the incidents occurred within 10 years after the commission of any prior incident.
Racketeering activity- means committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, or aiding or abetting, soliciting, coercing, or intimidating a person to commit an offense for financial gain. There are underlying offenses that form the basis of the pattern of the racketeering activity. The offenses include the following:
- Felonies concerning controlled substances
- Welfare fraud
- Securities fraud
- Jury tampering
- Felony involving explosives and bombs
- Felony involving credit cards or financial transaction devices
- Felony involving false pretenses
- Money Laundering
- Counterfeiting and forgery
- Human trafficking
- Home invasions
Possible penalties may include the following:
- Forfeiture of assets
- Restitution to the victims is possible.
The actual penalties will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, but will include factors such as your criminal history and the underlying racketeering activities.
- Arson: Michigan Penal Code 750.72
- Murder: Michigan Penal Code 750.316
- Robbery: Michigan Penal Code 750.530
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.
Michigan Racketeering Laws: Related Resources
Have Questions about Racketeering in Michigan? An Attorney can Help
Because racketeering is such an inclusive and intricate crime, it's advisable to turn to an attorney with experience in this complex subject area for help defending your case. Being convicted of racketeering can severely impact your life. Don't hesitate in reaching out to a Michigan criminal defense attorney.