The term racketeering may sound familiar in the context of organized crime or drug trafficking, but it is not limited to that. The crime of racketeering refers to numerous unlawful activities ("rackets," or crime rings) which demonstrate the operation of an illegal business or scheme carried out for a profit. Common examples of rackets include a "numbers racket" which is a reference to illegal gambling or a prostitution racket, but the activities can include a broad range of criminal acts such as extortion, embezzlement, robbery, kidnapping, or even murder. Although racketeering is often prosecuted on the federal level via Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations laws (RICO), many states including North Carolina have their own equivalent laws prohibiting racketeering.
North Carolina Racketeering Laws at a Glance
The chart below provides a summary of statutes related to North Carolina's racketeering laws, including links to important code sections.
- North Carolina General Statutes 1475D (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations)
- North Carolina General Statutes 14-75D-3(c) (Money laundering)
Elements of the Crime
North Carolina requires that the criminal "enterprise" engage in at least 2 incidents of racketeering activities that have the same or similar purposes, results, victims, or accomplices or are otherwise interrelated.
Racketeering activity means any act or threat involving the following:
- Drug-related offenses, and
- Any conduct involved in money laundering activities, among others.
Money laundering means:
- Conducting transactions involving funds that are the proceeds of illegal activity;
- Conducting transactions with the intent to conceal or disguise the nature, source, or ownership/control of the property or to prevent the transaction from being reported under state or federal law.
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: North Carolina General Statues 14-58
- Bribery of officials: North Carolina General Statues 14-217
- Extortion: North Carolina General Statues 14-118.4
- Murder: North Carolina General Statutes 14-17
- Robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons: North Carolina General Statues 14-87
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.
North Carolina Racketeering Laws: Related Resources
Facing Racketeering Charges in North Carolina? Find an Attorney
If you've been accused of violating North Carolina's racketeering laws, then you're facing serious charges with major consequences like incarceration and costly fines. It's in your best interests to consider talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney. A local criminal defense attorney can analyze your case and can determine the best strategies toward a well planned defense.