The purpose of this website is to serve as a resource for attorneys, clients, the media, and any member of the public with an interest in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961-1968. When it was passed in 1970, Congress’ goal was to eliminate the ill-effects of organized crime on the nation’s economy. Today, although seldom used against the Mafia, RICO is a common claim in federal courts, usually asserted by the purported victims of white collar crimes, such as mail and wire fraud.
The most common defendant to a civil RICO claim is not the stereotypical godfather figure, but is instead the CEO of a corporation, the controlling shareholder of a closed-corporation, the trustee of an estate or trust, or the leader of a political protest group. Even the Catholic Church has been named as a RICO defendant.
The purpose of this website is to simplify this very complicated area of the law and to articulate and make more predictable the legal standards that govern such claims.