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What is Civil RICO?

RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, and Congress initially passed the RICO Act to get rid of organized crime. However, over time the application of RICO has broadened to include businesses, political groups and other organizations. For example, parties who alleged that priests engaged in sexual molestation and sued the Catholic Church for damages. Parties argued that the church covered up the priests’ actions and thereby enabled them. They brought these lawsuits under civil RICO provisions. As part of business litigation, if appropriate, a Beaumont commercial attorney can sue on your behalf or defend your rights under civil RICO provisions.

Section 1964(c) of the RICO Act allows plaintiffs winning a civil RICO case to recover three times the amount in damages along with court costs and reasonable attorney fees. Under the RICO act, “any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity” are subject to RICO prosecution. Racketeering covers a broad scope of long term activities, such as money laundering and all of the following charges:

*         Bribery

*         Embezzlement

*         Fraud

*         Obstruction of Justice

The lack of a criminal RICO conviction does not bar you from bringing a civil RICO lawsuit against another business or individual.

By consulting Jefferson County civil lawyers, you can discuss whether civil RICO applies to your injustice and learn about the prospects for obtaining a judgment.

The Bernsen Law Firm is located in Beaumont, Texas and offers a free consultation to discuss grounds for commercial actions and possible representation.  By: David E. Bernsen

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