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Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

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by

Page Turley

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Key Terms
racketeering:
any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, money laundering, drug trafficking, obscene matter, or controlled substance

extortation:
the practice of obtaining something- especially money- through force or threats

syndicate:
a group of individuals or organizations combined to promote some common interest

organized crime:
groupings of centralized enterprises run by criminals and used to engage in illegal activity
Major Provisions
any person who is a member of a group that has committed any two of thirty-five crimes in a ten year period can be charged
those found guilty can be charged with $25,000 and spend up to 20 years in prison for each crime
racketeers must any interest, claim against, property, or contractual right over the enterprise associated with the racketeering activity
gives attorney's the option to file pre-restraining orders and to freeze defendant's assets
targeted organized crime/mafias
overseen by the Department of Justice
organized crime often took business fronts
The End
Background
Passed in 1970
Primary Sponsor: John L. McClellan (D-AR); drafted by George Blakey, the special attorney of organized crime and rackateering section of the Department of Justice
91st United States Congress
controlled by Democrats
President Richard Nixon signed it into law on October 15,1970
Overall Effects
this legislation significantly broadened the scope of racketeering charges making it easier for prosecutors to charge ordinary individuals with complex crimes
courts have seen a drastic increase of racketeering cases against lower level offenders and street gang members
critics argue that it has been used more for civil cases then criminal cases
Significant Court Cases
Hells Angels Motorcycle Club
the government tried to charge them with drug and gun related offenses but were unsuccesful
Major League Baseball
the former minority owners of the Montreal Expos baseball team filed charges under the RICO Act against Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria, claiming that Selig and Loria deliberately conspired to devalue the team for personal benefit in preparation for a move.
Rationale
RICO employs broad definitions to sweep a wide variety of enterprise criminal activity into its purview. One of the original goals of RICO was to eliminate organized-crime families. However, because Congress could not legislate against specific persons or families, it was forced to use broad language to define racketeering and organized crime. The far-reaching language of the statute has subjected a wide range of criminal defendants to RICO's penalties. The typical RICO defendant is far from the stereotypical violent mobster. A RICO defendant can be anyone who uses a business in any way to commit two or more of the many racketeering offenses.
Circumstances
RICO was passed as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970
ever since prohibition organized crime had been increasing
originally used to prosecute the mofia who were actively engaged in organized crime
organized crime had become very sophisticated: legitimate businesses were used as fronts for criminal activity
Other Acts
Patriot Act:
Uniting and Strength America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (2001)
- an act to deter and punish terrorists act and to enhance law enforcement and investigatory tools
by Page Turley and Jacob Velarde
Full transcript