RICO Laws – criminalizes racketeering that affects interstate commerce or persons or businesses engaged in interstate commerce

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Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act:

1. A 1970 federal statute designed to attack organized criminal activity and preserve marketplace integrity by investigating, controlling, and prosecuting persons who participate or conspire to participate in racketeering. 18 USCA §§ 1961-1968.  *  The federal RICO statute applies only to activity involving interstate or foreign commerce.  Many states have adopted similar statutes, sometimes called “little RICO” acts.  The federal and most state RICO acts provide for enforcement not only by criminal prosecution but also by civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff can sue for treble damages. — Abbr. RICO. [1]

1. A federal statute, commonly referred to as RICO, which criminalizes racketeering that affects interstate commerce or persons or businesses engaged in interstate commerce. [2]

     Excerpt from David R. McCormack’s Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (1998):

     “Before criminal or civil liability can attach under RICO, it must be shown that the two or more acts of racketeering alleged in the criminal indictment or civil complaint constitute a pattern of racketeering activity on the part of the culpable person.  The statutory definition of pattern ‘requires at least two’ predicate acts occurring within ten years of each other, with one of them occurring after October 15, 1970.  More broadly put, the pattern of racketeering activity is a scheme of unlawful conduct with a nexus to both the culpable person and the enterprise. [3]

U.S. Codes Associated with RICO:

18 U.S.C. § 1961. Definitions

18 U.S.C. § 1962. Prohibited activities

18 U.S.C. § 1963. Criminal penalties

18 U.S.C. § 1964. Civil remedies

18 U.S.C. § 1965. Venue and process

18 U.S.C. § 1966. Expedition of actions

18 U.S.C. § 1967. Evidence

18 U.S.C. § 1968. Civil investigative demand


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[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 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.

[3]: David R. McCormack, Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations § 1.04, at 1-20 (1998).


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