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Organized crime is a problem in the United States. The federal RICO law enhances penalties for crimes that are committed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The law was originally written to deal with well-known crime organizations such as the mafia, and it does that, but its effect has been more widespread than that. Under RICO, a person can be found guilty of a pattern of racketeering if two out of the 35 crimes including the law had been committed in the last 10 years sentence for racketeering main cliff fine of up to $250,000 and twenty years in prison. In addition to criminal prosecution and sentencing, RICO provides victims with the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit. If successful, a plaintiff in a civil RICO lawsuit can recover treble damages or three times the amount of damages actually incurred. RICO charges have been brought against diverse defendants in clean the Gambino crime family the Key West Police Department, the Latin Kings and pro-life activists. For more information about this complicated and important law, please visit the U.S. Department of Justice website at

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