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United States v. Salerno

Racketeering-influenced And Corrupt Organizations Act Of 1970

Congress passed The Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, more commonly referred to as RICO, in 1970 to help prosecute rapidly expanding organized criminal activity. To that end, a wide array of criminal activities fall under RICO, once a pattern of repeated criminal activity can be established. Racketeering activity requires that such acts must occur within a ten-year period of the first criminal act. Crimes that display a pattern of racketeering include any act or threat of murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, and/or extortion.

Other criminal acts that can be prosecuted under RICO include embezzlement of pension funds, welfare fraud, sports bribery, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles, sexual exploitation of children, obstruction of justice and mail fraud.

Conviction under the RICO statue could result in a maximum 20 year sentenced for each violation. Additionally, the accused, if convicted, must forfeit any profits from the criminal enterprise and can be liable for damages in civil court.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988United States v. Salerno - Significance, Background, Rights Of The Community V. Rights Of The Individual, Further Resistance To The Bail Reform Act