Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations

IN THE UNITED STATES, the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute is considered the most significant piece of legislation targeting organized and white-collar crime ever enacted. While derided in many circles as an unfair infringement on such ingrained constitutional rights as due process, it has been used extensively and successfully to prosecute thousands of individuals and organizations in the United States.

Part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, RICO makes it unlawful to acquire, operate or receive income from an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. Geared toward ongoing, organized criminal activities, the underlying tenet of RICO is to prove and prohibit a pattern of crimes conducted through an “enterprise,” which the statute defines as “any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal ...

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