Whether you live in Summerlin, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Anthem, Mountain’s Edge, or anywhere in between, you should have a basic understanding of the RICO laws in our fine Silver State lest you become accused of not just being a criminal but—audible gasp—even worse, an “organized criminal.” Many of us have been regaled with tales of Clark County and Las Vegas as the true and practical equivalent of the so-called Wild West when casinos first started springing to life in the middle of the desert, backed and run by fellas like Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Sam “Ace” Rothstein, and Arnold Dorfman, amongst countless others.
As you might imagine given our gambling history, RICO laws have had a particularly profound impact on our State, and more specifically, in Clark County itself. Many of us are familiar with the widely held belief that “the Mob built Las Vegas.” We have all read stories, heard songs, watched television shows, and enjoyed popular movies that indirectly—or quite directly in some cases—touch on the notion that wise guys have played a prominent role in the gambling palaces residing in Las Vegas since the inception of the casinos in the late 1940s.
From the Sands to the Tangiers, to the original Flamingo Hotel and Casino, the rich history of Las Vegas has been, for better or worse, inextricably intertwined with the biggest movers and shakers in organized crime. As such, RICO is particularly effective in places where organized crime thrives—Las Vegas and the greater area of Clark County, Nevada absolutely fits the bill.
RICO is an acronym that has become shorthand and is rarely even delineated into its component parts most often nowadays. RICO means Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and its long and colorful history in the United States goes back nearly fifty years to when it was enacted in 1970.
Since its creation, the RICO act was meant to serve as prosecutors’ “ultimate weapon” to combat mob and gang violence in major cities in the advent of the Vietnam War protests, the aggressive path taken by the leaders of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, and the more sophisticated manner in which networks of criminals engaged in loan sharking, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, money laundering, illegal bookmaking, prostitution and a host of other misdeeds had managed to escape major exposure because individual prosecutors prosecuting disparate offenses resulted in considerably shorter prison sentences. This was clearly ineffective to combat the growing crisis of organized crime in most of nation’s major cities.
Slowly but steadily, state after state in our union adopted similarly worded and designed racketeering statutes designed to curb the illegal activities of mobsters, white supremacists, cartel drug traffickers, and even sophisticated and stealth Southeast Asian and African “skimmers” who target Las Vegas in large part because so many persons from around the country—the word even—are kind enough to stop in and deposit their money with us—often permanently. The high volume of tourist cash makes Clark County a very desirable target for enterprising, ambitious, and organized criminal syndicates.
In Nevada, the elements for a claim of civil RICO violations (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) are:
In the past twenty years, there has been a substantial development of Nevada law on each of these identified elements, giving creative and attentive defense attorneys’ new ways to attack these draconian and peculiarly circumspect charges.
For additional information on these elements, feel free to make use of the cases referenced below:
Recent cases interpreting NRS 207.470:
Stoddart v. Miller, 2008 WL 6070835 (Nev. 2008 );
Siragusa v. Brown, 114 Nev. 1384, 971 P.2d 801 (1999);
Gordon v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct., 12 Nev. 216, 231, 913 P.2d 240, 250-51 (1996);
Cummings v. Charter Hosp. of Las Vegas, Inc., 111 Nev. 639, 896 P.2d 1137 (1995);
Allum v. Valley Bank of Nevada, 109 Nev. 280, 849 P.2d 297 (1993); Hale v. Burkhardt, 104 Nev. 632, 634, 764 P.2d 866, 867 (1988).
If you have been charged with Racketeering then you should consult an experienced Nevada criminal defense attorney to help! We have been helping people with these types of Federal Criminal Defense charges for over thirty years! Give us a call for a free consultation. We can be reached at (702) 385-9777. Or send us a message on our contact form.