Section 1962(c) prohibits any defendant person from operating or managing an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. So long as a civil RICO plaintiff is injured by reason of the defendant’s operation or management of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering, the plaintiff is entitled to treble damages, attorneys’ fees and costs under section 1964(c) (commonly referred to as RICO’s civil liability provision).
Section 1962(c)’s utility stems from its breadth. Section 1962(a) and (b) claims are relatively narrow. To have standing under sections 1962(a) and (b), the plaintiff must allege more than injury flowing from the racketeering activity. Under section 1962(a), a civil plaintiff has standing only if he has been injured by reason of the defendants’ investment of the proceeds of racketeering activity. Under section 1962(b), a civil plaintiff has standing only if he has been injured by reason of the defendants’ acquisition or maintenance of an interest in or control over an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. These distinctions will be discussed in greater detail in the section of this memorandum that is particularly concerned with the section 1962(a) and 1962(b) claims.
The elements of a section 1962(c) claim can be described in many ways. Generally, to establish a claim under section 1962(c), the plaintiff must prove that (1) a defendant person (2) was employed by or associated with an enterprise (3) operated or managed (4) through a pattern (5) of racketeering activity. To establish civil liability, a plaintiff must also establish injury to business or property by reason of the pattern of racketeering activity.