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NCJ Number: 66642 Find in a Library
Title: RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT - AN ANALYSIS OF THE CONFUSION IN ITS APPLICATION AND A PROPOSAL FOR REFORM
Journal: VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:441-480
Author(s): W L SCHMIDT
Corporate Author: Vanderbilt University
School of Law
Vanderbilt Law Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37240
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATION ACT (RICO) ARE DESCRIBED, FOLLOWED BY A CRITIQUE OF RICO'S CASE LAW AND A PROPOSAL FOR THE STATUTE'S REFORM.
Abstract: RICO WAS DESIGNED BY CONGRESS TO AID THE GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS IN CHECKING THE FLOW OF ORGANIZED CRIME'S ILLEGALLY OBTAINED FUNDS INTO LEGITIMATE BUSINESS ENTERPRISES. THE COMPLEXITY OF RICO'S PROVISION, THE BROAD STATUTORY LANGUAGE OF THE ACT, AND PROSECUTORIAL ZEAL IN INVOKING RICO HAVE RESULTED IN THE STATUTE'S APPLICATION TO SITUATIONS FOR WHICH IS WAS NOT INTENDED. THE SCOPE OF THE STATUTE MUST BE NARROWED, EITHER BY THE JUDICIARY OR CONGRESS, SO THAT IT DEALS EXCLUSIVELY WITH THE INFILTRATION OF LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES BY ORGANIZED CRIME. THE DEFINITION OF RACKETEERING ACTIVITY IN SECTION 1961(5) MUST BE CLARIFIED TO FOLLOW THE 'STOFSKY' GUIDELINES IN REQUIRING THAT THE RACKETEERING ACTS BE CONNECTED BY SOME COMMON SCHEME, PLAN, OR MOTIVE. THIS WOULD PREVENT PROSECUTION UNDER RICO FOR THE COMMISSION OF UNRELATED CRIMINAL ACTS ADEQUATELY PROSCRIBED BY EXISTING FEDERAL AND STATE CRIMINAL LAWS. THE 'COLLECTION OF AN UNLAWFUL DEBT' PROVISION AS AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF ESTABLISHING A RICO VIOLATION SHOULD BE ELIMINATED TO HELP NARROW THE SCOPE OF THE STATUTE TO ITS INTENT. FURTHER, GIVEN THE EXTENT OF JUDICIAL CONFUSION AND CONTRADICTION SURROUNDING THE INTERPRETATION OF THE RICO 'ENTERPRISE' CONCEPT, THE DEFINITION OF 'ENTERPRISE' IN SECTION 1961(4) SHOULD BE AMENDED TO REFLECT THE SIXTH CIRCUIT'S 'SUTTON' DECISION. IN 'SUTTON,' THE COURT HELD THAT AN ENTERPRISE IS ANY INDIVIDUAL, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, ASSOCIATION . . . AND ANY UNION OR GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS ASSOCIATED IN FACT THAT IS ORGANIZED AND ACTING FOR SOME OSTENSIBLY LAWFUL PURPOSE, EITHER FORMALLY DECLARED OR INFORMALLY RECOGNIZED. THIS DEFINITION STRIKES AN EQUITABLE BALANCE BETWEEN LEGITIMATE AND ILLEGITIMATE ENTERPRISES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Criminal infiltration of business; Critiques; Federal government; Judicial decisions; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; Organized crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66642

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