Among the many white collar crimes, racketeering is one of the most common types. Because racketeering is an umbrella term for a variety of applicable situations, it’s best to know what racketeering is and how serious the charges can be.
Racketeering occurs when a group runs illegal businesses, also known as “rackets”, or when an organized crime ring uses legitimate businesses to embezzle funds. Racketeering often wreaks havoc on local businesses and their safety. The most prevalent and commonly known example of racketeering is the “insurance racket”. This racket involves offering a small business or private entity “protection” from a danger that wouldn’t normally exist without their protection to begin with. For example, someone in a racketeering suit may offer someone insurance for fire, insinuating that the perpetrator would burn down their establishment should they not pay for protection.
Racketeering can take the form of many other crimes, such as:
· Murder-for-Hire, or hit men
· Check fraud
· Loan Sharking
· Insurance Fraud
· Weapons Trafficking
Racketeering convictions in New Jersey can carry serious consequences, be it first or second degree.
First-degree racketeering means that the racketeering scheme involved a first-degree crime, such as the use of a firearm or a violent crime. The penalty for first-degree racketeering can be imprisonment ranging from 10-20 years along with a fine of $200,000. This conviction would also force you to return all of the money earned though the racket.
Second-degree racketeering carries smaller, but significant charges as well. Jail time can range anywhere between five and 10 years with a fine of up to $150,000. Just a with first-degree offenses, you will have to return any money earned through the racket.
Racketeering is a serious crime that could follow you for the rest of your life if convicted. Do not fight these charges alone. If you or someone you know is facing racketeering charges in South Jersey, you need an aggressive lawyer with many years of experience and a solid track record of winning cases on behalf of clients. You can rely on John Tumelty. He is a Supreme Court certified criminal trial attorney and he will put his knowledge and experience to work for you. Schedule your consultation today.