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Enterprise Corruption in New York City

Enterprise Corruption is the New York City equivalent of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, commonly known as “RICO.”  Generally, prosecutors charge people with this crime as a means of coercion as the penalties can be extremely harsh relative to what the prosecutor needs to prove, encouraging defendants to provide information in exchange for leniency.

New York Penal Law §460.20, or the statute of Enterprise Corruption, is written in such a way that it can be applied equally to any member of a criminal organization, regardless of that person’s position. This means that both the kingpin and the bag carrier can be charged with the same crime and receive the same punishment.

The strategy behind this is that low-level members of criminal organizations may not be tempted to speak to law enforcement if they are only facing modest charges and minimal jail time. However, if each member of the organization can be charged as though they were the most culpable, it provokes defendants to provide evidence and make deals as well as gives the prosecutor a lot of room to plea bargain. If you have been accused of enterprise corruption, speak with one of our seasoned defense attorneys.

What is Enterprise Corruption?

In New York City, a person is guilty of Enterprise Corruption when they are involved in an organization which they know to be criminal in nature, and either engages in a pattern of criminal activity in furtherance of the enterprise; has an ownership interest or control over the organization; or invests and manages the proceeds of a criminal enterprise.

For purposes of the statute, a “pattern of criminal activity” is described as two felonious acts, which is not a difficult burden for the prosecutor to meet. Most acts in furtherance of the type of criminal organizations targeted by the law would be charged as felonies anyway.

While the focus of this charge has always been to identify and target organized crime syndicates, the types of groups that prosecutors are attempting to dismantle has shifted. Historically, this offense would have been charged to low-level soldiers in the Italian crime families. With the power of the Mafia in decline in New York, prosecutors have set their focus on other criminal organizations. Today, people associated with prostitution rings, human trafficking, controlled substance distribution organizations, or black-market firearms dealers may find themselves facing Enterprise Corruption charges.

Enterprise Corruption is a class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in a state correctional facility. This penalty applies regardless of the level of the underlying acts the prosecutor is charging in furtherance of the criminal organization.

Contact a New York City Enterprise Corruption Lawyer

If you are facing charges of Enterprise Corruption in New York City, hiring a top defense attorney immediately should be your first priority. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman, the experienced attorneys have successfully handled countless organized crime cases, obtaining extremely favorable case resolutions. We can protect your rights and fight tirelessly to minimize the potential penalties you may be facing. Call us today for a free case evaluation.

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