Separate from the 1970 federal RICO law that led to the prosecution of some of the largest organized crime families, Georgia’s RICO law encompasses some notable changes that broaden state
prosecutors’ ability to charge defendants. Partner Chris Timmons spoke with ABC News about these differences, having spent 17 years trying racketeering cases as a prosecutor with the DeKalb and Cobb County district attorney’s office.
He explained, “To be charged with a RICO offense in Georgia, a defendant needs to have allegedly committed or conspired to commit two related crimes – called racketeering or predicate acts – often as part of a larger criminal scheme.” Timmons added that Georgia’s law permits prosecutors to charge as few as one defendant in a criminal scheme and does not require an extended timeframe from the crime. This gives prosecutors more leverage against individual actors.
“Somebody could go to JC Penney, shoplift a pair of socks, walk next door to Sears and shoplift a second pair of socks, and they can be charged with RICO,” said Timmons.
To read the full article and what Georgia’s RICO laws mean for the prosecution of former President Donald Trump, please visit ABC News here.