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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 94334 Find in a Library
Title: Civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) and 'Garden Variety' Fraud - A Suggested Analysis
Journal: St John's Law Review  Volume:58  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1983)  Pages:93-127
Author(s): J F Cove
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 35
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) provides a framework whereby the potentially limitless scope of its Section 1964(c) is confined to those situations contemplated by Congress while retaining the section's character as a deterrent to, and redress for victims of, organized crime.
Abstract: An increasing number of resourceful plaintiffs have taken advantage of RICO's civil damage provisions to attack defendants whose activities seem far removed from traditional notions of organized crime. Most courts have accepted this broad interpretation of the law, imposing certain judicial glosses -'competitive injury,' 'racketeering enterprise injury,' and 'commercial injury' standing requirements -- on claims brought under Section 1964(c). These restrictions should be rejected, since a review of RICO's legislative history shows that Congress's intent was not to change existing securities law nor to provide a private right of action in the Federal courts for violations of mail or wire fraud statutes. Thus, actions which fall within the technical scope of RICO, but in essence state nothing more than securities violations, should be governed solely by the relevant securities laws. Suits which rely merely on two or more common law frauds conducted through an enterprise, even with the use of the mails or the wires, should be dismissed as outside the scope of RICO. If other acts proscribed by Section 1961(1) are included in the complaint, the complaint should stand because it exhibits a pattern of racketeering activity as intended by statute. The paper includes 160 footnotes. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Postal crimes; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act; Securities fraud
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