The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act was passed in 1970 as part of U.S. president Richard Nixon's Organized Crime Control Act. It was Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act and is considered by many to be the single most important piece of organized crime legislation enacted (Jacobs, 2001). RICO has become one of the dominant tools used in organized crime prosecutions within the United States. The arrests of Mafia figures are reputed to be accomplished in large part due to wiretaps and informants, and the lengthy sentences that can be received under a RICO conviction are claimed to have weakened the legendary vow of omertà or code of silence.

The bill was originally drafted by Robert Blakey, and Blakey remains the scholar ...

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