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RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) - Business Disputes and the 'Racketeering' Laws - Federal and State

NCJ Number
Date Published
192 pages
This volume explains the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, discusses State RICO laws, and provides texts of both. Court decisions are noted in both the Federal law explanation and the discussion of State laws.
Enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, RICO provides a treble damage remedy for persons injured in business or property by broadly defined terms of conduct. Elements of a claim include (1) the commission of two or more acts (2) constituting a 'pattern' (3) of 'racketeering activity' through which (4) the culpable person (5) invests in, maintains an interest in, or participates in (6) an 'enterprise' (7) the activities of which constitute interstate commerce. Investment, acquisition of interests, participation in an enterprise, or conspiracy to do any of these are forbidden if underlying wrongs have been committed. Issues connected with the enterprise requirements include the law's application to legitimate and illegitimate enterprises. Issues related to the pattern of racketeering activity include the need for connection between the pattern and the enterprise. 'Collection of an unlawful debt' is encompassed by the law as a form of illegal conduct separate from a 'pattern of racketeering activity.' The U.S. Attorney General is authorized to bring civil RICO actions in Federal district courts; private persons injured by a RICO violation may sue. Remedies include treble damages, attorney's fees, and cost of suit. The 'culpable person' in a RICO suit may include any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property. However, a link between the person and the alleged enterprise and racketeering activity must be established. Violators of RICO's Sec. 1962 standards of unlawfulness are subject to Federal criminal prosecution. Many State laws parallel the Federal RICO law. A table of cases and a topical index are provided.