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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 113122 Find in a Library
Title: 'RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) You Can't Refuse': New York's Organized Crime Control Act
Journal: Brooklyn Law Review  Volume:53  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1988)  Pages:979-1005
Author(s): E B Gerber
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 27
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Congress enacted the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in an effort to eliminate organized crime and halt its infiltration of legitimate business.
Abstract: RICO is intentionally broad, has provisions for a variety of civil and criminal penalties, and has been expansively interpreted by the courts leading to its application in almost all areas of commercial law, even when defendants in no way resemble members of organized crime. In 1986, New York enacted the Organized Crime Control Act (OCCA) in an attempt to bring the concept of RICO in line with its original target of organized crime. A careful analysis of OCCA's refined definitions of 'pattern of racketeering activities' and 'enterprise' elements of organized crime indicates that the act was expressly designed to avoid the overbreadth of RICO and that its harsh penalties were intended to apply only to members of organized crime. The statute provides the court with a mechanism for disposing of those cases that are unworthy of OCCA's severe penalties in the form of legislative findings that specifically address the types of behaviors to be punished. However, these findings are extensive and often contradictory or ambiguous. To ensure that OCCA is limited in application to its intended target, it is suggested that courts engage in a two-part analysis when hearing motions to dismiss. Initially, the courts should apply an objective test and dismiss counts where the indictment fails to allege activity classifiable of advancing the affairs or organized crime regardless of whether the pattern and enterprise elements can otherwise be met. In addition, indictments of individual defendants should be examined for significant conduct in the enterprise, and cases of those who played only a minor role in a criminal enterprise should be dismissed. 136 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Organized crime prevention
Index Term(s): New York; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act
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