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Understanding Racketeering

Racketeering is a very broad act that encompasses a number of illegal acts, any of which must be performed by an organized group in order for them to run an illegal business. Examples of racketeering include the sale of illegal alcohol or counterfeiting money. There are many more forms of this crime, however.

The term “racketeering” emerged in 1927 in order to describe the purpose and effects of organized crime in the Teamsters union. The anti-racketeering law, known as RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act) was formed in 1970 as a measure of controlling and preventing this sort of crime. Mainly, it targeted the Mafia.

Two common forms of racketeering include a protection racket and a number racket. The protection racket is one in which the perpetrators will essentially blackmail businesses; the companies provide them with money, and the racketeers will not perform criminal actions within the businesses. The numbers racket is basically an illegal lottery.

Labor racketeering is a form of this crime that is popular within the United States. Racketeers target labor unions and control them through bribes in order to control the different health and pension plans of members. This affects the entire labor force, including all businesses tied into that particular group of people.

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If you have been charged with racketeering, or if you would like more information on this crime, contact San Jose criminal defense lawyer Daniel Jensen, P.C. at (408) 296-4100 today.

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