Racketeering Charges In NY – 2C:41-2(a), 2C:41-2(b) & 2C:41-2(c)
Racketeering is a kind of catch-all charge designed to discourage people from engaging in patterns of illegal activity. The types of crimes that, when repeated, constitute racketeering in New Jersey include a host of things, from bribery and extortion to murder and securities fraud.
Under the statute N.J.S.A. 2C:41-2(a), Racketeering, it is a felony in New Jersey to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity and then use any part of the income obtained from that conduct to invest in or acquire an enterprise or establishment that engages in trade or commerce.
This essentially makes it a crime to use ill-gotten gains to buy legitimate enterprises that can then act as a front or otherwise in the furtherance of illegal conduct.
Penalties will vary based on the racketeering activity underlying the investment. If that conduct constituted a crime of the first degree, involved a firearm, or was a violent crime, you’ll be charged with a first degree crime under 2C:41-2(a).
Otherwise, you’ll be charged with second degree racketeering. The difference in potential sentences is stark: a first degree charge can put you away for as much as four times as long as a second degree charge.
Using a pattern of criminal acts to get the money to acquire or maintain an interest in a business is a crime in New Jersey. The state has taken strong steps toward pushing back at the instruments that organized crime syndicates have historically used to enrich themselves, so under 2C:41-2(b),
Racketeering, if you commit any of a variety of crimes twice in ten years, you are technically engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity. This includes arson, extortion, bribery, forgery, fraud, drug dealing, murder and kidnapping, theft, securities fraud, and more.
When the funds derived from these activities are put to use in influencing regular businesses through the partial or complete purchase of the business, you’re violating 2C:41-2(b). Penalties, assuming that the underlying racketeering crimes were not violent crimes or crimes of the first degree, can include up to 10 years in prison.
However, if the pattern of racketeering activity underlying this Racketeering charge included a gun or was a crime of the first degree, you may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and face fines up to $200,000.
You’ll also be paying back every illicit cent the government can pin on you, so get ready for hard times once you’re out.
If you use your position in a business or in an organization that affects commerce or trade in New Jersey, including regulatory bodies, to conduct that entity’s affairs via racketeering, you are in violation of New Jersey’s statute N.J.S.A. 2C:41-2(c), Racketeering.
While the law was originally intended to curtail the operation of the mafia and other organized crime organizations, it’s applicability remains even for sole operators who aren’t part of a formal organized crime ring.
If you’re convicted of Racketeering under 2C:41-2(c), you can be sentenced at one of two grades. As a first degree crime, you can go to prison for as long as 20 years, pay up to $200,000 in fines, and repay every cent you made through stringent restitution requirements. If you’re convicted of second degree racketeering, you’ll go to prison for five to ten years, and pay up to $150,000 in fines, plus restitution.
Penalties For Racketeering 2C:41-2(a), 2C:41-2(b) & 2C:41-2(c)
Under New Jersey’s strict anti-organized crime laws, it’s an indictable offense (what other states call a felony) to engage in a pattern of illegal conduct and then use the money you’ve obtained from those practices to invest in or buy an enterprise that engages in trade or commerce.
This is all spelled out in the statute N.J.S.A. 2C:41-2(a), Racketeering, which makes it at least a crime of the second degree to use profits from racketeering activity to take over a “legitimate” business. The way that charges under 2C:41-2(a) are graded is a little different than most crimes. If the underlying racketeering activity – i.e., a pattern of illegal activity, which can include crimes like extortion, usury, bribery, arson, kidnapping, human trafficking, forgery, fraud, theft, securities fraud, and many more – constitutes a crime of the first degree, then your Racketeering charge will be of the first degree.
This is also true if the underlying crimes involved a firearm or violent crimes. Penalties if you’re convicted of first degree racketeering include 10-20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000. If you’re convicted of second degree racketeering, get ready for a 5-10 year sentence and fines up to $150,000.
At any grade, you’ll also be on the hook for big restitution paybacks to the state. It’s not a pretty place to be.
Racketeering under N.J.S.A. 2C:41-2(b) of New Jersey law establishes penalties in a slightly different way than most other laws. “Racketeering” is typically understood as extorting or otherwise improperly obtaining money from a person or business, but 2C:41-2(b) specifies a series of crimes that constitute the “improper” part.
If you have been convicted twice in ten years of any of a variety of crimes, from kidnapping and extortion to gambling and securities fraud, and the state can show that you’ve derived financial benefit from those crimes or that you plan to use any money gained for the furtherance of criminal activity, you are in real danger.
Your sentence will be based on the underlying criminal act. If you’ve been convicted of one of the specified crimes of the first degree twice in ten years, you’ll be sentenced at the first degree level, and face at least ten years in prison, and as long as 20. In addition, you’ll pay fines up to $200,000, plus forfeit every illicit penny you earned through restitution payments.
All other racketeering counts will be charged as second degree crimes, meaning that if convicted, you’ll go to prison for five to ten years and pay fines up to $150,000. It’s a very tough situation to be in, and one that you can’t fight alone.
Operating a business or entity that impacts trade in New Jersey through racketeering methods – things like extortion, bribery, kidnapping, murder, arson, and so on – is a serious crime. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:41-2(c), Racketeering, such conduct can be graded as either a crime of the second degree or a crime of the first degree, depending on several factors.
Obviously, a second degree charge is preferable. This means that the underlying racketeering activity was not a crime of the first degree, or that you did not use a firearm in their implementation. As a crime of the second degree, conviction for 2C:41-2(c) will result in a five to ten year prison sentence, fines up to $150,000, and a thorough accounting of all the money you illegally gained, which you will then be required to pay back in restitution. If the underlying racketeering activity involved crimes of the first degree, deadly weapons, or violent crimes, then your charge(s) under the Racketeering statute will also be of the first degree. Conviction means a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years and fines up to $200,000. You may or may not be eligible for parole, depending on the judge’s discretion.
If you’ve been charged with Racketeering under 2C:41-2(a), 2C:41-2(b) or 2C:41-2(c) , don’t risk your future.
Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-385-3339 for a free consultation.