The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering and allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually commit the crime personally.
RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91–452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October 15, 1970) and is codified at 18 U.S.C. ch. 96 as 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961–1968. G. Robert Blakey, an adviser to the United States Senate Government Operations Committee, drafted the law under the close supervision of the committee's chairman, Senator John Little McClellan. It was enacted as Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and signed into law by Richard M. Nixon. While its original use in the 1970s was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.
Beginning in 1972, 33 states adopted state RICO laws to be able to prosecute similar conduct.
|Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act|
|Long title||An Act relating to the control of organized crime in the United States|
|Nicknames||Organized Crime Control Act of 1970|
|Enacted by||the 91st United States Congress|
|Effective||October 15, 1970|
|Statutes at Large||84 Stat. 922-3 aka 84 Stat. 941|
|Titles amended||18 U.S.C.: Crimes and Criminal Procedure|
|U.S.C. sections created||18 U.S.C. §§ 1961–1968|
Under RICO, a person who has committed "at least two acts of racketeering activity" drawn from a list of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related in one of four specified ways to an "enterprise". Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity."
When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, they have the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant's assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. This provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets. An injunction and/or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict.
In many cases, the threat of a RICO indictment can force defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges, in part because the seizure of assets would make it difficult to pay a defense attorney. Despite its harsh provisions, a RICO-related charge is considered easy to prove in court since it focuses on patterns of behavior as opposed to criminal acts.
RICO also permits a private individual "damaged in his business or property" by a "racketeer" to file a civil suit. The plaintiff must prove the existence of an "enterprise". The defendant(s) are not the enterprise; in other words, the defendant(s) and the enterprise are not one and the same. There must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise: either the defendant(s) invested the proceeds of the pattern of racketeering activity into the enterprise (18 U.S.C. § 1962(a)); or the defendant(s) acquired or maintained an interest in, or control of, the enterprise through the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (b)); or the defendant(s) conducted or participated in the affairs of the enterprise "through" the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (c)); or the defendant(s) conspired to do one of the above (subsection (d)). In essence, the enterprise is either the 'prize,' 'instrument,' 'victim,' or 'perpetrator' of the racketeers. A civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court.
Both the criminal and civil components allow the recovery of treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages).
Although its primary intent was to deal with organized crime, Blakey said that Congress never intended it to merely apply to the Mob. He once told Time, "We don't want one set of rules for people whose collars are blue or whose names end in vowels, and another set for those whose collars are white and have Ivy League diplomas."
Initially, prosecutors were skeptical of using RICO, mainly because it was unproven. The RICO Act was first used by the US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York on September 18, 1979, in the United States v. Scotto. Scotto, who was convicted on charges of racketeering, accepting unlawful labor payments, and income tax evasion, headed the International Longshoreman's Association. During the 1980s and 1990s, federal prosecutors used the law to bring charges against several Mafia figures. The second major success was the Mafia Commission Trial, which resulted in several top leaders of New York City's Five Families getting what amounted to life sentences. By the turn of the century, RICO cases resulted in virtually all of the top leaders of the New York Mafia being sent to prison.
Beginning in 1972, 33 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, adopted state RICO laws to cover additional state offenses under a similar scheme.
Pattern of racketeering activity requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity. The US Supreme Court has instructed federal courts to follow the continuity-plus-relationship test in order to determine whether the facts of a specific case give rise to an established pattern. Predicate acts are related if they "have the same or similar purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission, or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated events." (H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.) Continuity is both a closed and open ended concept, referring to either a closed period of conduct, or to past conduct that by its nature projects into the future with a threat of repetition.
Although some of the RICO predicate acts are extortion and blackmail, one of the most successful applications of the RICO laws has been the ability to indict and or sanction individuals for their behavior and actions committed against witnesses and victims in alleged retaliation or retribution for cooperating with federal law enforcement or intelligence agencies.
Violations of the RICO laws can be alleged in civil lawsuit cases or for criminal charges. In these instances, charges can be brought against individuals or corporations in retaliation for said individuals or corporations working with law enforcement. Further, charges can also be brought against individuals or corporations who have sued or filed criminal charges against a defendant.
Anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) laws can be applied in an attempt to curb alleged abuses of the legal system by individuals or corporations who use the courts as a weapon to retaliate against whistle blowers or victims or to silence another's speech. RICO could be alleged if it can be shown that lawyers and/or their clients conspired and collaborated to concoct fictitious legal complaints solely in retribution and retaliation for themselves having been brought before the courts.
Although the RICO laws may cover drug trafficking crimes in addition to other more traditional RICO predicate acts such as extortion, blackmail, and racketeering, large-scale and organized drug networks are now commonly prosecuted under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute, also known as the "Kingpin Statute". The CCE laws target only traffickers who are responsible for long-term and elaborate conspiracies, whereas the RICO law covers a variety of organized criminal behaviors.
The RICO statute contains a provision that allows for the commencement of a civil action by a private party to recover damages sustained as a result of the commission of a RICO predicate offense.
In 1979, the United States Federal Government went after Sonny Barger and several members and associates of the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels using RICO. In United States vs. Barger, the prosecution team attempted to demonstrate a pattern of behavior to convict Barger and other members of the club of RICO offenses related to guns and illegal drugs. The jury acquitted Barger on the RICO charges with a hung jury on the predicate acts: "There was no proof it was part of club policy, and as much as they tried, the government could not come up with any incriminating minutes from any of our meetings mentioning drugs and guns."
On August 20, 2006, in Tampa, Florida, most of the state leadership members of street gang the Latin Kings were arrested in connection with RICO conspiracy charges to engage in racketeering and currently await trial. The operation, called "Broken Crown", targeted statewide leadership of the Latin Kings. The raid occurred at the Caribbean American Club. Along with Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Tampa Police Department, the State Attorney's Office, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were involved in the operation. Included in the arrest were leader Gilberto Santana from Brooklyn NY, Captain Luis Hernandez from Miami FL, Affiliate Celina Hernandez, Affiliate Michael Rocca, Affiliate Jessica Ramirez, Affiliate Reinaldo Arroyo, Affiliate Samual Alvarado, Omari Tolbert, Edwin DeLeon, and many others, totaling 39.
Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Gil Dozier, in office from 1976 to 1980, faced indictment with violations of both the Hobbs and the RICO laws. He was accused of compelling companies doing business with his department to make campaign contributions on his behalf. On September 23, 1980, the Baton Rouge-based United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana convicted Dozier of five counts of extortion and racketeering. The sentence of ten years imprisonment, later upgraded to eighteen when other offenses were determined, and a $25,000 fine was suspended pending appeal, and Dozier remained free on bail. He eventually served nearly four years until a presidential commutation freed him in 1986.
Around June 1984, the Key West Police Department located in Monroe County, Florida, was declared a criminal enterprise under the federal RICO statutes after a lengthy United States Department of Justice investigation. Several high-ranking officers of the department, including Deputy Police Chief Raymond Cassamayor, were arrested on federal charges of running a protection racket for illegal cocaine smugglers. At trial, a witness testified he routinely delivered bags of cocaine to the Deputy Chief's office at City Hall.
On 29 March 1989 American financier Michael Milken was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and fraud relating to an investigation into an allegation of insider trading and other offenses. Milken was accused of using a wide-ranging network of contacts to manipulate stock and bond prices. It was one of the first occasions that a RICO indictment was brought against an individual with no ties to organized crime. Milken pleaded guilty to six lesser felonies of securities fraud and tax evasion rather than risk spending the rest of his life in prison and ended up serving 22 months in prison. Milken was also ordered banned for life from the securities industry.
On September 7, 1988, Milken's employer, Drexel Burnham Lambert, was threatened with RICO charges respondeat superior, the legal doctrine that corporations are responsible for their employees' crimes. Drexel avoided RICO charges by entering an Alford plea to lesser felonies of stock parking and stock manipulation. In a carefully worded plea, Drexel said it was "not in a position to dispute the allegations" made by the Government. If Drexel had been indicted under RICO statutes, it would have had to post a performance bond of up to $1 billion to avoid having its assets frozen. This would have taken precedence over all of the firm's other obligations—including the loans that provided 96 percent of its capital base. If the bond ever had to be paid, its shareholders would have been practically wiped out. Since banks will not extend credit to a firm indicted under RICO, an indictment would have likely put Drexel out of business. By at least one estimate, a RICO indictment would have destroyed the firm within a month. Years later, Drexel president and CEO Fred Joseph said that Drexel had no choice but to plead guilty because "a financial institution cannot survive a RICO indictment."
In 2002, the former minority owners of the Montreal Expos baseball team filed charges under the RICO Act against Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria, claiming that Selig and Loria deliberately conspired to devalue the team for personal benefit in preparation for a move. If found liable, Major League Baseball could have been responsible for up to $300 million in punitive damages. The case lasted two years, successfully stalling the Expos' move to Washington or contraction during that time. It was eventually sent to arbitration, where the arbiters ruled in favor of Major League Baseball, permitting the move to Washington to take place.
In April 2000, federal judge William J. Rea in Los Angeles, ruling in one Rampart scandal case, said that the plaintiffs could pursue RICO claims against the LAPD, an unprecedented finding. The idea that a police organization could be characterized as a racketeering enterprise shook up City Hall and further damaged the already-tarnished image of the LAPD. However, in July 2001, US District Judge Gary A. Feess said that the plaintiffs do not have standing to sue the LAPD under RICO because they are alleging personal injuries rather than economic or property damage.
On April 26, 2006, the Supreme Court heard Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Williams, No. 05-465, 547 U.S. 516 (2006), which concerned what sort of corporations fell under the scope of RICO. Mohawk Industries had allegedly hired illegal aliens, in violation of RICO. The court was asked to decide whether Mohawk Industries, along with recruiting agencies, constitutes an "enterprise" that can be prosecuted under RICO, but in June of that year dismissed the case and remanded it to Court of Appeals.
Also in Tampa, on October 16, 2006, four members of the Gambino crime family (Capo Ronald Trucchio, Terry Scaglione, Steven Catallono, and Anthony Mucciarone and associate Kevin McMahon) were tried under RICO statutes, found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison.
In the mid-1990s, prosecuting attorneys Gregory O'Connell and Charles Rose used RICO charges to bring down the Lucchese family within an 18-month period. Dismantling the Lucchese family had a profound financial impact on previously Mafia held businesses such as construction, garment, and garbage hauling. Here they dominated and extorted money through taxes, dues, and fees. An example of this extortion was through the garbage business. Hauling of garbage from the World Trade Center cost the building owners $1.2 million per year to be removed when the Mafia monopolized the business, as compared to $150,000 per year when competitive bids could be sought.
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice's Operation Family Secrets indicted 15 Chicago Outfit (also known as the Outfit, the Chicago Mafia, the Chicago Mob, or the Organization) members and associates under RICO predicates. Five defendants were convicted of RICO violations and other crimes. Six pleaded guilty, two died before trial and one was too sick to be tried.
A federal grand jury in the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down a 48-count indictment against former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella. The judges were charged with RICO after allegedly committing acts of mail and wire fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and honest services fraud. The judges were accused of taking kickbacks for housing juveniles, that the judges convicted of mostly petty crimes, at a private detention center. The incident was dubbed by many local and national newspapers as the "Kids for cash scandal". On February 18, 2011, a federal jury found Michael Ciavarella guilty of racketeering because of his involvement in accepting illegal payments from Robert Mericle, the developer of PA Child Care, and Attorney Robert Powell, a co-owner of the facility. Ciavarella is facing 38 other counts in federal court.
Scott W. Rothstein is a disbarred lawyer and the former managing shareholder, chairman, and chief executive officer of the now-defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm. He was accused of funding his philanthropy, political contributions, law firm salaries, and an extravagant lifestyle with a massive 1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. On December 1, 2009, Rothstein turned himself in to federal authorities and was subsequently arrested on charges related to RICO. Although his arraignment plea was not guilty, Rothstein cooperated with the government and reversed his plea to guilty of five federal crimes on January 27, 2010. Bond was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Rosenbaum, who ruled that due to his ability to forge documents, he was considered a flight risk. On June 9, 2010, Rothstein received a 50-year prison sentence after a hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.
Eleven defendants were indicted on RICO charges for allegedly assisting AccessHealthSource, a local health care provider, in obtaining and maintaining lucrative contracts with local and state government entities in the city of El Paso, Texas, "through bribery of and kickbacks to elected officials or himself and others, extortion under color of authority, fraudulent schemes and artifices, false pretenses, promises and representations and deprivation of the right of citizens to the honest services of their elected local officials" (see indictment).
Fourteen defendants affiliated with FIFA were indicted under the RICO act on 47 counts for "racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants' participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer." The defendants include many current and former high-ranking officers of FIFA and its affiliate CONCACAF. The defendants had allegedly used the enterprise as a front to collect millions of dollars in bribes, which may have influenced Russia and Qatar's winning bids to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, respectively.
In 2015, the Drummond Company sued attorneys Terrence P. Collingsworth and William R. Scherer, the advocacy group International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates), and Dutch businessman Albert van Bilderbeek, one of the owners of Llanos Oil, accusing them of violating RICO by alleging that Drummond had worked alongside Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia to murder labor union leaders within proximity of their Colombian coal mines, which Drummond denies.
In 2005, a federal jury ordered Fasano to pay $500,000 under RICO for illegally helping a client hide their assets in a bankruptcy case.
Art Cohen vs. Donald J. Trump was a civil RICO class action suit filed October 18, 2013, accusing Donald Trump of misrepresenting Trump University "to make tens of millions of dollars" but delivering "neither Donald Trump nor a university". The case was being heard in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, No. 3:2013cv02519, by Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel. It was scheduled for argument beginning November 28, 2016. However, on November 18 and shortly after Trump won the presidential election, this case and two others were settled for a total of $25 million and without any admission of wrongdoing by Trump.
The US RICO legislation has other equivalents in the rest of the world. In spite of Interpol having a standardized definition of RICO-like crimes, the interpretation and national implementation in legislation (and enforcement) widely varies. Most nations cooperate with the US on RICO enforcement only where their own related laws are specifically broken, but this is in line with the Interpol protocols for such matters.
By nation, alphabetically:
Without other nations enforcing similar legislation to RICO, many cross border RICO cases would not be possible. In the overall body of RICO cases that went to trial, at least 50% have had some non-US enforcement component to them. The offshoring of money away from the US finance system as part racketeering (and especially money laundering) is typically a major contributing factor to this.
However, other countries have laws that enable the government to seize property with unlawful origins. Colombia and Mexico both have specific laws that define the participation in criminal organizations as a separate crime as well as separate laws that allow the seizure of goods related to these crimes. This latter provides a specific chapter titled "International Cooperation", which instructs Mexican authorities to cooperate with foreign authorities with respect to organized crime assets within Mexico, and provides the framework by which Mexican authorities may politely request the cooperation of foreign authorities with respect to assets located outside of Mexico, in terms of any international instruments they may be party to.
Arguably, this may be construed as allowing the application of the RICO Act in Mexico, provided the relevant international agreements exist among Mexico and countries with RICO or RICO-equivalent provisions.
Avtandil Khurtsidze (Georgian: ავთანდილ ხურციძე; born 2 May 1979) is a Georgian former professional boxer who competed from 2002 to 2017, and held the WBO interim middleweight title in 2017, as well as the IBO middleweight tile in 2011. He also challenged once for the interim WBA middleweight title in 2010.Boyle v. United States
Boyle v. United States, 556 U.S. 938 (2009), is a decision by the United States Supreme Court involving what constitutes an "enterprise" under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The Court, in a 7-2 opinion, held that any group convened to carry out a crime meets the definition of an enterprise, even if it was only created for that purpose.Cedric Kushner Promotions, Ltd. v. King
Cedric Kushner Promotions, Ltd. v. King, 533 U.S. 158 (2001), was a United States Supreme Court case concerning the extent to which the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) applied to certain types of corporation-individual organizations. In this case, the Court decided unanimously to apply it to Respondent Don King.Evsei Agron
Evsei Borisovich Agron (Russian: Евсей Борисович Агрон, tr. Yevsei Borisovich Agron; 25 January 1932 – 4 May 1985) was boss of New York City's Russian Mafia during the 1970s and 1980s. Known for his cruelty, he was called the "Godfather" of the Russian American mafia.Born in Leningrad, Agron immigrated to the United States under the Jackson–Vanik amendment in 1975. He swiftly gained control of criminal operations among the Soviet Jews living in Brighton Beach. Agron organized a motor fuel racket which would earn millions, if not billions, through fuel tax fraud. This type of fraud, which involved selling tax-free home heating oil as diesel fuel, eventually cost the state of New Jersey alone an estimated $1 billion annually in lost tax revenues.However, as other mobsters closed in on the operation, a rival organization began expanding its own criminal operations under Boris Goldberg (who, in 1989, would be charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for drug trafficking, armed robbery, extortion, arms dealing and attempted murder).Agron died after being shot twice in the head outside his Brooklyn apartment in May 1985, at age 53. He was succeeded by Marat Balagula as leader of the Russian mob in the United States.Federal crime in the United States
In the United States, a federal crime or federal offense is an act that is made illegal by U.S. federal legislation. Prosecution happens at both the federal and the state levels (based on the Dual sovereignty doctrine) and so a "federal crime" is one that is prosecuted under federal criminal law and not under state criminal law under which most of the crimes committed in the United States are prosecuted.
That includes many acts for which, if they did not occur on U.S. federal property or on Indian reservations or were not specifically penalized, would either not be crimes or fall under state or local law. Some crimes are listed in Title 18 of the United States Code (the federal criminal and penal code), but others fall under other titles. For instance, tax evasion and possession of weapons banned by the National Firearms Act are criminalized in Title 26 of the United States Code.
Numerous federal agencies have been granted powers to investigate federal offenses, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Secret Service.
Other federal crimes include mail fraud, aircraft hijacking, carjacking, kidnapping, bank robbery, child pornography, credit card fraud, identity theft, computer crimes, federal hate crimes, violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), obscenity, tax evasion, counterfeiting, violations of the Espionage Act, violations of the Patriot Act, illegal wiretapping, art theft from a museum, damaging or destroying public mailboxes, electoral fraud, immigration offenses, and since 1965 in the aftermath of the President John F. Kennedy's assassination, assassinating or attempting assassination of the President or Vice President.In drug-related federal offenses, mandatory minimums can be enforced if federal law is implicated, when a defendant manufactures, sells, imports/exports, traffic, or cultivate illegal controlled substances across state boundaries or national borders. A mandatory minimum is a federally regulated minimum sentence for offenses of certain drugs.Prosecution guidelines are established by the United States Attorney in each federal judicial district and by laws that Congress has already established.Gary Kaplan
Gary Kaplan (born on January 5, 1959 in New York) is the founder of BetonSports.com (BoS), an online sports betting company which between 2002 and 2004 took in wagers amounting to nearly $4 billion, 98 percent of which came from the United States. In 2004 BoS went public on the London Stock Exchange.
On July 17, 2006 the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri office, citing the Federal Wire Act of 1961, which prohibits the use of a wire communication facility to transmit bets across state or foreign borders, issued a 22 count indictment for Gary Kaplan and eight others, including David Carruthers. Other violations noted in the indictment included Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, interstate transportation of gambling paraphernalia, interference with the administration of Internal Revenue Service laws and tax evasion. Nine months later he was arrested in the Dominican Republic and Interpol transferred him to U.S. custody.In April 2009, Carruthers reached a plea bargain with prosecutors in exchange for a reduced sentence. Carruthers has agreed to cooperate with authorities and testify against Kaplan and others still facing charges.In August 2009, Kaplan reached a plea deal with authorities. He has been sentenced to 4 years in jailHe is married and father of two children.Getting Gotti
Getting Gotti is a 1994 TV film centered on a Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney named Diane Giacalone, and her attempts to build a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case against John Gotti and the Gambino crime family. It was shot in Toronto, Ontario.James T. Licavoli
James T. "Blackie" Licavoli also known as "Jack White" (born Vincentio Licavoli on August 18, 1904 − November 23, 1985) was a Cleveland, Ohio mobster and one of the earliest organized crime figures to be convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act).List of United States unincorporated territory officials convicted of federal corruption offenses
This is a list of notable United States unincorporated territory officials convicted of federal public corruption offenses for conduct while in office. The list is organized by office. Non-notable officials, such as sewer inspectors and zoning commissioners, are not included on this list, although they are routinely prosecuted for the same offenses. Acquitted officials are not listed (if an official was acquitted on some counts, and convicted on others, the counts of conviction are listed). Officials convicted of territorial crimes are not listed.
The criminal statute(s) under which the conviction(s) were obtained are noted. If a defendant is convicted of a conspiracy to commit a corruption offense, the substantive offense is listed. Convictions of non-corruption offenses, such as making false statements, perjury, obstruction of justice, electoral fraud, and campaign finance regulations, even if related, are not noted. Nor are derivative convictions, such as tax evasion or money laundering. Officials convicted only of non-corruption offenses are not included on this list, even if indicted on corruption offenses as well. Certain details, including post-conviction relief, if applicable, are included in footnotes.
The Hobbs Act (enacted 1934), the mail and wire fraud statutes (enacted 1872), including the honest services fraud provision, the Travel Act (enacted 1961), the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (enacted 1970), and the federal program bribery statute, 18 U.S.C. § 666 (enacted 1984), have been used to prosecute of such officials. These statutes are also applicable to corrupt federal, state, and local officials. The Ninth Circuit has held that the program bribery statute does not apply to Guam.National Organization for Women v. Scheidler
National Organization for Women v. Scheidler, 510 U.S. 249 (1994), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) could apply to enterprises without economic motives; pro-life protesters could thus be prosecuted under it. An organization without an economic motive can still affect interstate or foreign commerce and thus satisfy the Act's definition of a racketeering enterprise.
The Court did not issue judgment on whether or not the Pro-Life Action Network, the organization in question, had committed actions that could be prosecuted under RICO.
G. Robert Blakey argued on behalf of Joseph Scheidler, while Miguel Estrada represented the United States as amicus curiae in favor of reversal.Organized Crime Control Act
The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91–452, 84 Stat. 922 October 15, 1970), was an Act of Congress sponsored by Democratic Senator John L. McClellan and signed into law by U.S. President Richard Nixon.
The Act was the product of two sets of hearings in the Senate, the Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management hearings of 1957-1959 and the McClellan hearings of 1962-1964.
The Act prohibits the creation or management of a gambling organization involving five or more people if it has been in business more than 30 days or accumulates $2,000 in gross revenue in a single day. It also gave grand juries new powers, permitted detention of unmanageable witnesses, and gave the U.S. Attorney General authorization to protect witnesses, both state and federal, and their families. This last measure helped lead to the creation of WITSEC, an acronym for witness security.
Part of the Act created the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.Princeton Newport Partners
Princeton/Newport Partners (P/NP) was an early alternative investment management company founded by pioneering mathematical financier Edward O. Thorp in late 1974. The company was developed by assuming the instruments of an earlier venture, Convertible Hedge Associates. The CHA-PNP venture is said to have achieved annualized returns of 15.1 percent after fees until becoming embroiled in the junk bond schemes of Michael Milken's circle at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Thorp and other principals at P/NP were eventually cleared of wrongdoing, but the financial burdens imposed by the ensuing Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act investigation forced P/NP to liquidate. Thorp and his circle later regrouped as Edward O. Thorp & Associates.RICO (Better Call Saul)
"RICO" is the eighth episode of the first season of the AMC television series Better Call Saul, the spinoff series of Breaking Bad. The episode aired on March 23, 2015 on AMC in the United States. It is named after the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community
RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community, 579 U.S. ___ (2016), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act has certain extraterritorial applications, but that plaintiffs must prove injuries within the United States for the Act to apply. The decision received criticism in the Harvard Law Review for potentially restricting access to American courts for litigants from outside the country.The case was brought by the European Union's member states. RJR Nabisco (and several subsidiary organizations) were accused of engaging in cigarette smuggling and tax evasion.Robin Hood v. United States
Robin Hood v. United States CV 12-01542 was a 2012 United States District Court for the Northern District of California civil court case. The case was brought by Robin Hood against the United States government for allegedly violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The case was heard under the plaintiff being in forma pauperis but the case was dismissed as frivolous litigation after Hood failed to state a claim for relief. Hood appealed the ruling requesting retention of in forma pauperis status but this was denied due to frivolous claims made during the court proceedings.Tafflin v. Levitt
Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455 (1990), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that state courts have concurrent jurisdiction to decide civil claims brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).United States v. Philip Morris
United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. was a case in which the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held several major tobacco companies liable for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act by engaging in numerous acts of fraud to further a conspiracy to deceive the American public about nicotine addiction and the health effects of cigarettes and environmental tobacco smoke.
Judge Gladys Kessler found that the evidence overwhelmingly established that the companies violated RICO by coordinating their public relations, research, and marketing efforts in order to advance their scheme to defraud by denying the adverse health effects of smoking, denying the addictiveness of nicotine, denying their manipulation of the nicotine content of cigarettes, and denying that their marketing targeted youth as new smokers. The companies also suppressed and destroyed information related to the dangers of smoking in order to maximize their profits and enhance the market for cigarettes.United States v. Salerno
United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987), was a United States Supreme Court decision. It determined that the Bail Reform Act of 1984, which permitted the federal courts to detain an arrestee prior to trial if the government could prove that the individual was potentially dangerous to other people in the community, was constitutional. It violated neither the US Constitution's Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nor its Excessive Bail Clause of the Eighth Amendment.
The case was brought up when American Mafia member Anthony Salerno was arrested and indicted for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Shell Co.
The Wiwa family lawsuits against Royal Dutch Shell were three separate lawsuits brought by the family of Ken Saro-Wiwa against Royal Dutch Shell, its subsidiary Shell Nigeria and the subsidiary's CEO Brian Anderson, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1992 and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). They were charged with complicity in human rights abuses against the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta, including summary execution, crimes against humanity, torture, inhumane treatment, arbitrary arrest, wrongful death, and assault and battery. The lawsuits were filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel from EarthRights International in 1996, and after 12 years of Shell petitioning the court not to hear the cases, they were heard 26 May 2009.