Racketeering and
Organized Crime Defense Attorney in DC

Accomplished Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
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When you face a drug charge, you may be confused over what makes it a federal crime and not a state crime. You may also wonder what the classifications of drugs mean and how that can affect the outcome of your case. There are many aspects you should understand when facing such charges so that you can go to court prepared.

Phone: (202) 430-1900

Fax: (202) 430-1900

Office Location: 1101 17th Street NW Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036

Hours: Monday - Friday | 8am - 5pm

Accused of a white-collar crime?
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Washington, DC Racketeering and Organized Crime Defense Lawyer

“Racketeering” and organized crime are frequently used synonymously, but the two words actually refer to completely separate concepts.  “Racketeering” technically refers to a constellation of criminal offenses contained at Chapter 95 of Title 18 of the United States Code.  These offenses relate to interference with interstate commerce by threat or violence, interference with organized labor, money laundering, murder-for-hire and illegal gambling. 

“Organized crime”, by contrast refers to any criminal activity entered into by a criminal organization.  Organized crime has historically engaged in racketeering offenses but has expanded since its inception to include narcotics offenses, prostitution and human trafficking, political corruption, frauds (including mail fraud, wire fraud, banking fraud, Medicare fraud, just to name a few).  These organizations tend to have strong bonds fostered by ethnic affinity (the Italian mafia, Russian Organized Crime (ROC) and various Latin American drug cartels like the Cali Cartel or the Sinaloa Cartel). 

The most successful criminal organizations have strong internal disciplinary rules designed to protect the organization and the leadership of the organization.  Many times, these organizations are transnational in character and have more wealth and power than many national governments of the world.  This leads to their ability to corrupt law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal level, even in the United States.

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

From the government’s standpoint, the most power tool at their disposal to combat organized crime is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).  The heart of RICO is 18 U.S.C. 1961 which expands the definition of “racketeering” to include just about any serious felony.  RICO covers such other activities as narcotics trafficking, human trafficking and prostitution, immigrations and passport offenses, Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage Act offenses, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Banking Fraud, and just about any offense imaginable.  Members of a gang charged with robbing two convenience stores could be charged with RICO.  In addition its criminal penalties, RICO also contains a private cause of action for individuals or companies injured by racketeering activity.

All that is required for a government to prove a RICO violation is a “pattern of racketeering activity”, meaning two acts of racketeering activity within the past ten years.  There are two other aspects of RICO that are important.  The first is the draconian penalties associated with RICO.  The maximum penalty for a RICO violation is 20 years imprisonment or death if death is the penalty for an underlying offense.  The second is the inclusion of “conspiracy”—an agreement to violate the law—in prohibited acts under RICO.  Since co-conspirators are liable for all violations committed by co-conspirators during the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy, one who joins a RICO conspiracy becomes subject to almost unlimited criminal liability.

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What Our Clients Are Saying
  • Without Dennis' counsel, I do not believe that I or my business would have been able to thrive in today's healthcare industry. His experience and knowledge of the law is truly indispensable. Definitely worth every dollar I paid him!

    - Owen
  • Dennis is a gifted attorney. I had the opportunity to work with him first-hand on a variety of matters. Because of his depth of experience and intellect, Dennis was able to quickly identify issues and work toward a favorable resolution for his clients.
    - Susan C.
  • Dennis is a very experienced and skilled criminal litigation lawyer. Being both active in the International Bar Association (IBA), I have come to know Dennis as a person very much dedicated to his work and his clients, and with a broad up-to-date knowledge of legal matters.
    - Enide P.
  • “Dennis is an exceptional white collar defense attorney with global experience. I would not hesitate to call upon Dennis to advise, counsel, and try the most challenging cases for any client or contact of mine.”
    - M. Wolfe
  • “Dennis is an excellent attorney. I have had the pleasure of working with Dennis on numerous complex civil and criminal matters. Dennis handles cases thoroughly and comprehensively, providing his clients with the best possible representation.”
    - J. Autry
  • “Mr. Boyle represented my in a federal income tax issue that became criminal. He helped me through the process and worked with IRS agents and prosecutors for months to reduce me sentence. In the end, I received a sentence of probation and was able to keep my business and put my life back together. My trust in him was well placed.”
    - Anonymous
  • “On one of the worst days of my life, my business caught on fire, and the fire endangered my house that was next store. As I was trying to help the firemen fight the fire, two people I did not know showed up and told me I had to leave. When I tried to explain to them that I was helping the firemen, I was beaten with a club and tased with a teaser. The two police officers, who had not identified themselves, then arrested me for resisting arrest and assault them. They then took me in handcuffs to the hospital and then to the York County prison where I spent the night before making bail. I hired Dennis Boyle to defend me, and after a jury trial, I was found innocent of all charges. “
    - Anonymous

The Defense of an Organized Crime Charge

Defending someone alleged to be a member of an organized crime syndicate, whether it be Russian Organized Crimes, one of the Mexican or Colombian narcotics trafficking cartels or a domestic criminal organization, requires the very best criminal defense attorney available, one who is not only an experienced and successful trial attorney but also understands the nature of organized crime and nuances of RICO and conspiracy law.  In a world where the criminal justice system is built upon quick pleas and “cooperation”, charges involving allegations of organized crime are different.

“Cooperation” may not be possible.  Often times, the defendant will have family members in another country—Mexico, Colombia, the Balkans or Russia—and cooperation could mean death for the cooperator’s loved ones.  As one alleged cartel member once said, “they will kill everyone, even my dog”.   The government’s promises of protection may not be sufficient, even if the government makes these offers in good faith.  In major cartel cases, the U.S. government works with foreign law enforcement. 

These foreign law enforcement officials may themselves be corrupt.  “Plata o plomo” is a phrase commonly used in Latin America.  It means “silver or lead”—the choice narcotics traffickers give to law enforcement officials.  Either they can become rich working with the criminal organizations, or they can die.  As the recent arrest of the former Mexican Defense Minister demonstrates, prosecutions can be compromised, and cooperators, and their families can die. 

The defense counsel must understand that cooperation may not be possible.  He or she must also understand that cooperation may not be necessary.  Often, a defendant may be working at the behest of an organized crime group because he or she has no other alternative.  This is called the defense of “Duress”.  In the right case, an experienced defense counsel may be able to use the duress defense to completely eliminate the criminal charge.

A complete understanding of the law of conspiracy is another area an experienced defense counsel can use to limit or avoid criminal responsibility.  What did the alleged co-conspirator know and intend? Does he or she have any criminal liability at all?  Not everyone who does work for a cartel is a co-conspirator, and in the right case, an experienced defense counsel can use the law of conspiracy to the defendant’s advantage.

We Can Help

For more than 30 years, we have represented hundreds of individuals suspected of or charged with involvement in racketeering or organized crime.  In many instances, these individuals were never charged.  Others have been acquitted or received greatly reduced sentences.  Although we do not identify clients by name, we have represented:

  • An individual alleged to work for a Mexican Cartel.
  • An individual alleged to work for a Colombian Cartel.
  • An individual suspected of bank fraud and alleged to work for Russian Organized Crime.
  • Several different individuals charged with Medicare fraud and alleged to work for Russian organized crime.
  • An alleged leader of a human trafficking ring.
  • An American law enforcement official alleged to be on the payroll of an organized crime cartel.
  • Several individuals alleged to be laundering money for a criminal organization based in the Balkans.
  • A corporation alleged to be laundering money for Nigerian criminal organizations.

Because of the ongoing sensitivity of many of the matters in which we have been retained, we cannot discuss other matters where we have been retained.  Every case is different, but every case starts with a willingness to listen to the client, to investigate all possible defenses to the matter and to properly advise the client of the best course of action.  We will do everything in our power to ensure the client receives the best possible outcome.

Time Is of The Essence

Contact Dennis Boyle, Attorney At Law Today

If you are searching for an experienced criminal defense attorney, Contact Dennis Boyle, Attorney At Law today. We have many years of experience defending clients that have been accused of federal financial crimes. We can help you navigate the complex legal process and provide you with the best defense possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation or speak with a member of our legal team.

Practice Areas

White Collar Criminal Defense

Those that find themselves charged with a white collar crime must make sure they have a dedicated defense attorney on their side.
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Investment Arbitration

These high-pressure cases can may prove especially difficult when dealing with countries known for high levels of corruption.
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Securities & Investment Crimes

With these white collar crimes you can face years or even decades of prison time, hefty fines and possibly other criminal charges.
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International Criminal Law

There are many criminal defense attorneys providing legal counsel throughout the Washington, DC area. However, very few of them have the professional experience and legal acumen to handle criminal defense on an international scale.
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Mail / Wire Fraud

Mail and wire fraud are two of the most frequently prosecuted crimes in the US. Both of these crimes are federal felony offenses.
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Fraud Cases

Fraud crimes are often prosecuted much more severely and often involve substantial amounts of money due to the violation of trust.
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Money Laundering

Money Laundering can lead to severe penalties including many years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and asset seizure.
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Racketeering and Organized Crime

These offenses relate to interference with interstate commerce by threat or violence, interference with organized labor, money laundering, murder-for-hire and illegal gambling.
Learn MoreOrganized Crime in the BalkansWest African Organized Crime


Mail and wire fraud are two of the most frequently prosecuted crimes in the US. Both of these crimes are federal felony offenses
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Cyber Crime

Cyber crime is a relatively new and rapidly growing area of law. Too many people, and too many lawyers, think that cyber crimes are just like any other crimes.
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