Gunster attorney William Hill spoke to Law360 recently about the effects of HB 549, which passed both houses of the Florida Legislature earlier this month.
The legislation amps up the enforcement tools available to the Florida attorney general’s office to go after businesses or individuals under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.
According to the article, HB 549 adds statutory penalties for businesses ($1 million) and individuals ($100,000) targeted under the act.
This is a big deal, Hill stresses to Law360, in that these penalties provide incentives for the AG to pursue more cases than it has in the past because it wouldn’t have to prove actual damages as it must do now, and matters previously thought not to be worth the cost of prosecuting may now be deemed worth it.
The real game changer, Hill tells Law360, is that the bill allows forfeited property and other assets to go to victims – instead of the state, as it does now.
Read the article: Florida poised for RICO crackdown with new enforcement tools (Law360, 3/23/16) – note: subscription required.
UPDATE: Florida passes law to enhance state RICO Act (Daily Business Review, 4/8/16) – note: subscription required
William Hill is a commercial trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in courts in Florida and throughout the U.S. He works out of Gunster’s Miami office.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net