Podcasts are a convenient way for savers to boost their personal finance knowledge.
Racketeering is the crime of extorting money from a victim. Bankrate explains.
What is racketeering?
Racketeering is a type of criminal activity in which money is extorted from a victim by threat or force. One of the most common forms is the protection racket, in which a criminal entity causes a problem and sells protection against that problem. Racketeering is usually the purview of organized crime rather than an individual and encompasses such activities as drug trafficking, loan sharking, and contract killing.
In a protection racket, the criminal entity threatens a business owner or landlord with physical force if she doesn’t pay a fee. The criminal entity might offer some kind of extrajudicial service in return, such as protection from injury and theft or even from other criminal entities. When an entity like the mafia is large enough it might even overpower the police force, in which case paying for protection might be the business owner’s only recourse.
Other forms of racketeering include running an illegal gambling operation or loan sharking. In those cases, often exorbitant debts are extracted through threats of violence, including seizure or destruction of property, or injury, including murder. Such threats back up other racketeering enterprises, such as the trafficking in people or illegal drugs, by silencing potential witnesses and enforcing payment for the services. Racketeers also compel innocent people to commit crimes, such as rigging a vote, with the threat of violence.
Still another form of racketeering happens after the illegal business has prospered. It may invest some of its cash into a legitimate business, which is called money laundering.
The U.S. government prosecutes racketeering cases using the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. That law is designed to target the head of an organized criminal organization, who can be difficult to convict because he has himself not committed any of its crimes, having outsourced them to underlings. After demonstrating the existence of an extant criminal organization, RICO prosecutors can convict any member of the group without proving that any one member committed a particular crime.
Stay away from a loan shark and take out a clean personal loan, with a helpful comparison tool from Bankrate.
Tony runs what he calls a “sanitation business” in east New Jersey. While there really is a sanitation business, Tony is the head of a large criminal enterprise that compels businesses to use his sanitation business instead of another company’s or risk seeing their property burn to the ground. The police can’t quite pin a recent string of arsons on him, although they suspect something. Meanwhile, Tony’s raking it in.
More From Bankrate
5 min read May 24, 2022
These 10 money-themed books can help you improve your finances.4 min read May 13, 2022
There are many ways scammers can steal identities and use them for gain, usually of a financial nature.4 min read May 06, 2022
A significant portion of Americans experience financial worries.5 min read May 02, 2022
Identity theft is a term that covers a variety of crimes in which someone steals another person’s personal information.5 min read Apr 29, 2022
Look for a plan with a reputable provider that offers services that make you feel confident.5 min read Apr 29, 2022
If you discover the breach early and act without delay, you could minimize the damage.4 min read Apr 29, 2022
Here’s a breakdown of where identity theft occurs most often, according to FTC data.5 min read Apr 29, 2022
Stay alert and don’t think identity theft can’t happen to you.5 min read Apr 29, 2022