One particularly complex area of criminal law involves prosecutions of individuals the government deems to be part of a criminal organization. Originally designed to prosecute traditional organized crime operations, these laws have evolved to cover a wide range of criminal charges including wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, and other white-collar offenses.
At the federal level the law is known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Colorado has a similar statute called the Colorado Organized Crime Act (COCA). Both of these laws involve a very complex statutory scheme that greatly increases the range of possible punishment for individuals found to be members of criminal organizations. The intricacy of these statutes, combined with the complicated nature of the facts giving rise to such charges, make it critical that you contact an attorney experienced in these types of cases if you suspect you will or have been charged with such a crime.
As this area of the law has expanded, so have the groups of people or businesses that find themselves charged with either a RICO or a COCA violation. Business organizations originally established for a completely lawful and legitimate purpose can find themselves charged with a violation of these statutes merely by losing money for their investors or others involved in the business organization. As the economy continues to suffer, the government appears to be increasingly aggressive in its pursuit of charges under these statutes as a way to punish failed business endeavors.
At my law office, I tell clients it shouldn’t be a crime to fail in business; we bring all our resources to bear in fighting these very serious charges. Please call today to discuss any issues you may have regarding any possible RICO or COCA charges.