Bill would allow seizure of gang members’ assets

Naperville Sun | April 3, 2011

The Illinois House on Friday passed a bill which would change the Illinois Criminal Code to allow for the seizure of street gang assets when a member is convicted of certain crimes.

House Bill 1907, co-sponsored by state Rep. Michael Connelly, R-Lisle, would allow prosecutors to take assets such as money and personal property of known street gang members who commit multiple crimes.

“This provides prosecutors the ability to go after the assets of street gangs,” said Connelly. “It allows them to require the forfeiture of their homes, cars, money and other assets. I credit my colleague, state Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst, in sponsoring this bill.”

The bill would add the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law (RICO) to the Criminal Code of 1961. If someone violates the RICO laws, such as committing more than one crime and is a known employee or affiliate of a criminal enterprise, such as a gang or mob, the courts are now able to require them to forfeit their assets. Suspects must commit certain offenses such as violent crimes, drug crimes, sex crimes or other qualifying crimes before prosecutors can go after their assets under this law.

“For generations, street gangs have lured our youth into joining their criminal enterprises by flashing money and cars,” Connelly said. “This bill will strike a blow to their efforts to continue to recruit new members. We want to ensure that when a known gang member has a pattern of criminal offenses, the assets are seized so they are not used to commit more crimes in our state.”

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