Racketeering in California

For a long time now I've been trying to figure out just what a racketeer is. I never went to school past the third grade, but I've graduated ten universities of hard knocks, and I've decided that a racketeer that the definition of a racketeer is anyone who tries to accumulate wealth, power, and prestige, at the expense of entrenched wealth, power, and prestige.

-Frank Costello

As used in the United States Code, "racketeering" is a catch-all term that generally applies to criminal activity that is of an "organized" nature. In its inception, the term "racketeering" was used in attempts to prohibit the criminal behavior of the Italian mafia. While most people think of violent crime when they think of the mafia, there is certainly room to wiggle for prosecutors to apply racketeering laws in non-violent prosecutions such as fraud, identity theft, et. cetera.

In California, the racketeering laws do not specifically outlaw "racketeering", per se, but are rather used to recoup profits gained by way of criminal behavior. For example, if a group of people conspire together and steal catalytic converters and sell them on the black market, any profits derived therefrom could become the subject of racketeering laws in California. In other words, racketeering itself, is not a crime in California. For the racketeering laws to be engaged, the prosecuting agency is required to show a pattern of illegal behavior that is organized in nature. Once this is shown, the government's remedy is to seize the assets derived from the aforementioned criminal activity. However, the prosecuting agency may also still criminally prosecute the individual for the underlying crimes. If you or someone you know have concerns about assets being seized under the California racketeering laws, do not hesitate to contact our office at (619) 880-7004 or chris@luceropc.com so we can address the issues properly. It is our honor and privilege to be your voice in court. Don't go it alone.