Racketeering – a pattern of illegal activity (i.e. bribery, extortion, fraud, murder) carried out as part of an enterprise owned or controlled by the conspirators

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1. A system of organized crime traditionally involving the extortion of money from businesses by intimidation, violence, or other illegal methods.

2. A pattern of illegal activity (such as bribery, extortion, fraud, and murder) carried out as part of an enterprise (such as a crime syndicate) that is owned or controlled by those engaged in the illegal activity.  *  The modern sense (sense 2) derives from the federal RICO statute, which greatly broadened the term’s original sense to include such activities as mail fraud, securities fraud, and the collection of illegal gambling debts.
See 18 USCA §§ 1951-1960. [1]

1. The criminal activity engaged in by a racketeer.  Racketeering is an activity of members of organized crime. [3]

n. (1924)

1. Someone who engages in racketeering; specif., someone who earns money from organized crime.racketeer, vb. [1]

1. Using one’s position, especially a position as officer of a labor union, to extort or obtain money by fraud. Hazelton v Murray, 21 NJ 115, 121 A2d 1.

The organized use of threats, coercion, intimidation, and violence to compel the payment r for actual or alleged services of arbitrary or excessive charges under the guise of membership dues, protection fees, royalties, or service rates. United States v McGlone (DC Pa) 19 F Supp 285, 286. [2]

1. A gangster; a person engaged in criminal activity as a business.  The term is often associated with organized crime.  It suggests a person whose criminal enterprises involve the use of threats, coercion, intimidation, and violence, especially for purposes of extortion and protection. [3]

n. (1819)

1. An organized criminal activity; especially, the extortion of money by threat or violence. 

2. A dishonest or fraudulent scheme, business, or activity. [1]

Laws Against Racketeering:

RICO Laws (18 USCA §§ 1961-196) – criminalizes racketeering that affects interstate commerce or persons or businesses engaged in interstate commerce.


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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