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Illegal Control of an Enterprise and Racketeering

ARS 13-2301: Illegal Control of an Enterprise and Racketeering 

Illegal control of an enterprise charges can be devastating to a person who is unprepared. It’s important to retain a criminal defense lawyer who can develop a defense strategy to protect your best interests. Illegal control of an enterprise can be considered both a white-collar and traditional criminal offense. While it involves business entities, finances, and accounting it also can lead to the connotation of extortion. 

Racketeering is any act, including any preparatory or completed offense, that is chargeable or indictable under the laws of the state or country and punishable by more than a year of incarceration. This includes acts related to the following if committed for financial gain:


  • Homicide
  • Kidnapping
  • Forgery
  • Theft
  • Bribery
  • Gambling
  • Extortion
  • Loansharking
  • Trafficking illicit substances, firearms, stolen property
  • Participating in a criminal syndicate


For a full list of crimes that fall under the racketeering definitions click here


ARS 13-2314 defines illegal control of an enterprise in several ways. If a person controls an enterprise through racketeering, that is ‘having substantial direction’ over the affairs of an enterprise, then they could be charged under this law. 

Someone could be illegally conducting an enterprise if they are employed by the enterprise and they directly or indirectly participate in the conduct of the enterprise that that person knows is being conducted through racketeering. 

These types of charges are associated with any type of “Racketeering” act. We often see these charges in drug sale, prostitution, fraud schemes, forgery, theft, money laundering, and robbery cases. With each of these charges, the person also has to deal with the underlying charge and faces a sentence for that charge as well. 


Penalties: Illegal Control of an Enterprise

If an Illegal Control of an Enterprise charge involves a minor then a person could face a Class 2 Felony charge. If a minor is not involved then it can be charged as a Class 3 Felony. A Class 3 Felony can mean anywhere between 2 and up to 8.75 years of imprisonment in Arizona. Class 2 Felony Illegal control of an enterprise charges can land a person anywhere between 3 and 12.5 years in jail. Probation and a felony conviction status are all after effects of being convicted of racketeering. 


Possible Defenses To Illegal control of an enterprise

The main defense to the control of an enterprise charge is typically lack of knowledge. If you were a partner who did not have access to the books or were unaware of the underlying racketeering act, you likely have a factual defense at trial. If you were just an employee who was unaware, you have a factual defense to these charges. In these types of cases, many people affiliated with the business are indicted. We have represented innocent clients who were completely unaware of what was going on within an organization.