Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: RICO laws and Racketeering - Does Wall Street count?

Posted 1 year ago on Feb. 7, 2013, 3:01 a.m. EST by TrevorMnemonic (5827)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Please share information on this topic

Below is an article from Peace Visionary's Blog ARIEL KY

RICO Matters: Are Wall Street and Big Banks Corrupt?

If you are angry at what the bank executives are getting away with in the banks too big to fail, and think that Wall Street is corrupt, you may wonder if our government is also entirely corrupt because it would seem they're in cahoots to cheat people out of their money.

But everyone in government isn't corrupt, nor even everyone who works for a bank or Wall Street... well, let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

The people do have some recourse by applying the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known more simply as RICO. Anyone can find out more about RICO by looking it up in Wikipedia, but I'll excerpt a few pertinent sections:

RICO is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually do it. Under RICO, a person who is a member of an enterprise that has committed any two of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity."

RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of such an enterprise to file a civil suit; if successful, the individual can collect treble damages.When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he or she has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant's assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. This provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets.

An injunction and/or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict.In many cases, the threat of a RICO indictment can force defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges, in part because the seizure of assets would make it difficult to pay a defense attorney.

Despite its harsh provisions, a RICO-related charge is considered easy to prove in court, as it focuses on patterns of behavior as opposed to criminal acts.

There is also a provision for private parties to sue. A "person damaged in his business or property" can sue one or more "racketeers". Both the federal and civil components allow for the recovery of treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages).

Although its primary intent was to deal with organized crime, Blakey said that Congress never intended it to merely apply to the Mob. He once told Time, "We don't want one set of rules for people whose collars are blue or whose names end in vowels, and another set for those whose collars are white and have Ivy League diplomas."

So there it is, folks. We don't have to be victims of Wall Street and big banks whose racketeering, shell games and corruption are destroying our middle class. We have recourse. RICO matters.

http://open.salon.com/blog/lijingjing/2011/09/08/rico_matters_are_wall_street_and_big_banks_corrupt

5 Comments

5 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

In a nation with a rule of law, yes, this would be RICO status.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

civil cases can be filed though.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Also found this - Despite congressional attempts to limit the scope of civil RICO, only one major area of law has been removed from the RICO Act. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C.A. § 77 et seq.) eliminated liability for RICO claims based on securities Fraud, unless the defendant has already been criminally convicted of securities fraud. The act thus removed the threat of treble (triple) damages in such cases. Congress concluded that federal securities laws generally provide adequate remedies for victims of securities fraud. Therefore, it was unnecessary and unfair to expose defendants in securities cases to the threat of treble damages and other extraordinary remedies provided by the RICO Act.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Racketeering