California Penal Code 186 PC is the first statute representing the “California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act”, which outlaws criminal profiteering (also referred to as racketeering). The Act comprises nine statutes in all: Penal Codes 186 PC through 186.8 PC.
The text of the code section reads:
186. This act may be cited as the “California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act.”
California Penal Code 186 PC is one of the nine statutes prohibiting criminal profiteering, also known as racketeering. These statutes are essentially the state-level version of federal RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization) laws.
The purpose of PC 186 through PC 186.8 is to punish patterns of criminal behavior, typically stemming from organized crime. These cases involve at least two of the following offenses within a decade‘s time span:
- Child pornography
- Felony assault
- Pimping and pandering
- Receiving stolen property
- Solicitation of crimes
- Grand theft
- Trafficking drugs
- Violation of corporate securities laws
- Title 9, chapter 7.5 and 7.6 offenses
- Presentation of a false or fraudulent claim
- False or fraudulent activities, schemes, or artifices
- Money laundering
- Counterfeit of a registered mark
- Unauthorized access to computers, computer systems, computer data
- Conspiracy to commit the above
- PC 186.22(a)
- Fraud or theft offenses related to California’s beverage container recycling program
- Human trafficking
- Inducing a minor into prostitution
- Threatening a minor into prostitution
- ID theft
- Car theft
- Abduction or procurement by fraudulent inducement for prostitution
- Insurance fraud
Furthermore, prosecutors have the burden to prove that the defendant intended to monetarily benefit a criminal organization.
The penalties for criminal profiteering vary from probation to prison depending on the severity of the case. Defendants also face asset forfeiture and liens of their property.1
- California Penal Code 186 PC – Citation. See, for example, People v. Delgado (Cal. App. 2d Dist., 2022) 74 Cal. App. 5th 1067; People v. Arce (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 2020) 47 Cal. App. 5th 700. PC 186.2.