“You have a truly sharp legal mind and your courtroom presence is among the best. I am forever grateful for your two years of hard work, dedication and service to my father’s case.” — R.C.

“I give Mr. Spano the highest possible recommendation. Mr. Spano helped me navigate a somewhat unorthodox legal matter, did so quickly, and always kept me informed.”

“Thanks for taking my case and getting me a not guilty verdict. You are a great lawyer. I could not asked for anything more. Please know you hold a special place in my family’s heart.” — G.B.

“Many thanks for the very professional and gentlemanly way that you conducted yourself at the trial of my son. I along with all of my family were thrilled beyond words with the outcome.” — B.B.

“Thank you for assuring me that just because a good honest person makes a mistake does not mean they have to be treated like a criminal!” — D.S.

Proven Criminal Defense In Upstate New York

What is a RICO violation?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2018 | White Collar Crime |

If you face federal RICO charges in New York, you may be unclear about exactly what federal agents and prosecutors allege you did. Despite the fact that RICO violations are white collar crimes, if the prosecutor convicts you, you face not only a substantial prison sentence, but also payment of a substantial fine.

Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act in 1970 in an attempt to bring mafiosos to justice. Since then, however, the government has used RICO to prosecute all manner of crimes including the following:

  • Embezzlement
  • Money laundering
  • Bribery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Mail fraud
  • Racketeering

RICO elements of proof

To convict you of a RICO violation, the prosecutor must prove all five of the following:

  1. The establishment of an enterprise
  2. Your employment by or association with the enterprise
  3. The acts, a/k/a predicates, committed by you and the enterprise that affected interstate commerce
  4. The fact that you and the enterprise committed two or more such acts within a 10-year period
  5. The racketeering pattern represented by the predicates


As defined by RICO, an enterprise can be a corporation, LLC, partnership or any other legal entity for which you worked or with which you associated. It likewise can be an informal and/or loose association of people with whom you worked to accomplish a common illegal purpose.

Racketeering pattern

While the government generally must prove that the racketeering pattern in which you and the entity engaged consisted of committing two or more predicates in a decade, this is the closed-end pattern approach. Alternatively, the government can take an open-end pattern approach by proving that the pattern in which you and the enterprise engaged consisted of committing only one recent predicate, but that you intended to commit others.

RICO penalties

If you face more than one RICO charge, you may serve a 20-year prison term upon conviction of each crime. In addition, you face a $250,000 fine for each crime conviction or a fine equal to twice what you and the enterprise garnered in your racketeering pattern.