There is some frenetic movement and positioning currently on display in the Illinois General Assembly, with legislative proposals including a call to beef up the state’s already strong RICO laws.
RICO is the shortened designation for the seminal statutory Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
RICO’s reach: broad and requiring a firm defense response
RICO charges allow the government to file broad catchall charges against people it suspects of profiting or being involved, either directly or indirectly, in a pattern of ongoing criminal activity.
That empowerment is exceptionally robust, isn’t it? And it more than arguably undercuts a targeted individual’s constitutional rights and linked proof requirements concerning alleged wrongdoing.
RICO charges are especially common in cases involving organized crime and gang activity and in matters ranging from drug trafficking, money laundering and embezzlement to large-scale fraud, terrorism and public corruption.
State lawmakers seek to give RICO statute even more teeth
That latter focus is specifically spotlighted by current activity in the Illinois Senate. Republican lawmakers have proposed an anti-corruption bill that would amend current law. If enacted, that provision would allow government prosecutors to order wiretaps in probes investigating public corruption. Such eavesdropping is not presently permitted.
RICO is a potent tool for law enforcers, and a criminal suspect facing RICO charges has an unquestionable need for timely, aggressive and results-oriented defense representation.