The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act), originally a criminal statute, is being increasingly used as a weapon in business litigation. In Georgia, plaintiffs can bring civil racketeering claims under the federal RICO statute, the Georgia RICO statute, or both. When choosing an attorney to handle your civil RICO claim (either as plaintiff or defendant), RICO jury trial experience is critical. Our attorneys have more RICO jury trial experience than any other attorneys in the state of Georgia.
The types of cases that can brought as a RICO claim in civil litigation (civil RICO) include theft, fraud, securities fraud, insurance fraud, computer hacking, human trafficking, embezzlement, and personal injury. A creative attorney can turn almost any case into a civil RICO claim, either under the Georgia racketeering statute or federal RICO. To pursue a Georgia civil RICO claim, the underlying “acts of racketeering activity” must be one of the crimes enumerated in O.C.G.A. § 16-14-3. The Georgia General Assembly patterned the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (Georgia RICO Act) from the Federal RICO Act but expanded the scope of the Georgia RICO Act dramatically from the federal RICO Act. The Georgia RICO Act, which is codified under O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4, removes the federal RICO Act requirements of continuity and the existence of an enterprise.
This difference means that plaintiffs can bring Georgia RICO Act claims against individuals who are acting alone and for schemes that have only been operating only for a short time.
Damages in a Racketeering can be measured in various ways, including: (1) profits lost from the because the business was victimized by the RICO scheme; (2) diminution of the businesses value; and (3) loss of or injury to the property. Because even a civil RICO claim accuses the defendant of committing a crime, the stakes in defending RICO are incredibly high both financially and emotionally. Accordingly, one trait to look for in a RICO attorney (either in a Georgia RICO or federal RICO case) is prosecutorial experience.
When vetting attorneys to handle your RICO claims be sure to ask them not just how many RICO cases they have handled, but rather how many RICO cases they tried to juries. You will find that our RICO case experience is unparalleled.
Our attorneys have been consulted on RICO cases by the New York Times, NBC News, the CBS Evening News, CBS Mornings with Gayle King, VICE, and countless local media outlets. To view our recent media interviews, please visit KGT’s News & Insights