Racketeering can refer to any illegal activity that is performed to make a profit. It is a special criminal enterprise that often involves acquiring a business for the purpose of fraudulent, illegal or dishonest business dealings. It is a type of white-collar crime that can involve operating a business using money obtained illegally or for a coordinated scheme, such as money laundering. Arizona has two main anti-racketeering laws in place to define this crime.
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Section 13-2301 gives the state’s main definition of the crime of racketeering. It lists several activities that are classified as racketeering in the eyes of the law. These prohibited activities cover both white-collar and blue-collar crimes, and include committing any of the following acts for the purpose of financial gain:
As seen by this list, a racketeering charge can be brought against an individual for many different alleged crimes that are viewed as being for the purpose of making a financial gain. Section 13-2301 of Arizona law also defines many terms that are typically involved in a criminal racketeering case.
The other state law that specifically addresses racketeering is A.R.S. 13-2314.04. This law focuses on the civil remedies available by bringing a cause of action against a defendant for racketeering. It states that anyone who sustains a reasonably foreseeable injury to his or her person, business or property due to racketeering activity can file an action in superior court for the recovery of up to treble damages and the costs of bringing the lawsuit.
Under this law, if a defendant is found liable for racketeering activities or a pattern of racketeering, he or she can be made to pay a victim up to three times the amount of actual or compensatory damages suffered. The defendant could also face additional civil penalties, such as being divested of any interest in the enterprise, having to dissolve the enterprise and paying prejudgment interest on damages.
Arizona penalizes racketeering harshly in an effort to dissuade citizens from engaging in this type of unlawful activity. If a defendant is arrested for a racketeering crime, he or she faces a felony charge. This crime is classified as a class 2 felony if it involves a minor or a class 3 felony if it does not. The penalties for a racketeering conviction involving a minor include:
The penalties for racketeering that does not involve a minor are less severe, although the defendant can still face life-changing consequences. A conviction for this crime can result in:
In addition to incarceration, a person who is convicted of racketeering in Arizona may also have to pay a fine plus penalties, interest and restitution. Having a felony conviction on a defendant’s record will also take away certain civil rights and liberties, such as the right to vote and bear arms. Finally, having a criminal record can make it more difficult to find a job and housing. A white collar crime attorney in Phoenix can help you evaluate your legal options and prepare a strong defense on your behalf.
If you are being accused of racketeering in Arizona, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately for legal assistance. The attorneys at AZ Defenders can personalize a legal defense for your specific case for the best possible results. Request a free case consultation with an attorney in Arizona today by calling (480) 456-6400.