Richards was a member of the Vehm and The Blacklist.
Richards was a cardinal in the Catholic church as well as a money launderer who used charities to launder money for off-shore gambling organizations. He had previously worked for the Vatican bank, where he, ironically, had been commissioned by the Pope to weed out corruption. He was also a high-ranking member of the Vehm, a modern-day revamp of the Vehmic court, a society of proto-vigilantes in Germany during the Middle Ages. Unlike the original Vehmic courts, who were sanctioned by the Emperor and targeted suspected witches and heretics, the modern Vehm operated entirely outside of the law, identifying and killing pedophiles in painful, ritualistic ways involving medieval torture devices, such as floggers or pouring molten lead into the targets' mouths. The kidnappings and murders were done by remorseful convicted sex offenders.
However, Richards started using his authority within the group and the loyalty of its members to eliminate his competitors in money laundering by falsely claiming them to have been pedophiles, making up witness statements or victim reports to incriminate them. Among his personal targets was Edward Weston, a money launderer who worked for Raymond Reddington