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Organized Crime and Federal Legislation
Proposed and enacted federal laws against organized crime (including the RICO Statute): A fragmentary documentation in chronological order, compiled by Klaus von Lampe.
Back to: Organized Crime in the U.S.
Interference with commerce by threats of violence (Section 1951)
Interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering enterprises (Section 1952)
Interstate transportation of gambling paraphernalia
Offenses related to employee benefit plans (Section 1954)
Mafia-membership (law proposed by Senator John McClellan)
Senate Bill 2187, 89th Congress, Senate Bill 678, 90th Congress:
"Sec. 2. (a) Whoever on and after the date of enactment of this Act knowingly and willfully becomes or remains a member of (1) the Mafia, or (2) any other organization having for one of its purposes the use of any interstate commerce facility in the commission of acts which are in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, relating to gambling, extortion, blackmail, narcotics, prostitution, or labor-racketeering, with knowledge of the purpose of such organization, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be imprisoned for not less than five years nor more than twenty years and may be fined not more than $ 20.000.
Sec. 3. As used in this Act, the term-
(1) "Mafia" means a secret society whose members are pledged and dedicated to commit unlawful acts against the United States or any State thereof in furtherance of their objective to dominate organized crime and whose operations are conducted under a secret code of terror and reprisal not only for members who fail to abide by the edicts, decrees, decisions, principles, and instructions of the society in implementation of this domination of organized crime, but also for those persons, not members, who represent a threat to the security of the members or the criminal operations of the society;
(2) "organization" means any group, association,
society, confederation, or syndicate whose aims, objectives, and
purposes are as stated in subsection (a) of section 2 of this
Act; ..." (Congressional Record, Senate, 25.01.1967, S. 1595).
German translation of Sec. 2 (a): "Wer am Tage
des Inkrafttretens dieses Gesetzes oder später bewusst
und gewollt ein Mitglied 1. der Mafia oder 2. irgend einer anderen
Organisation bleibt, die unter anderem den Zweck verfolgt, irgendeine
Einrichtung des Handels zwischen den Bundesstaaten [Ansatzpunkt
für die Bundesgesetzgebungskompetenz] bei der Begehung von
Taten zu benutzen, die Strafgesetze der Vereinigten Staaten oder
eines Bundesstaats verletzen, die sich beziehen auf Glücksspiel,
Erpressung, Drogen, Prostitution oder labor-racketeering, und
den Zweck einer solchen Organisation kennt, der soll wegen eines
Verbrechens für schuldig befunden werden und nach der Verurteilung
für mindestens fünf und höchstens 20 Jahre ins
Gefängnis kommen und er kann mit einer Geldbuße von
nicht mehr als 20.000 $ belegt werden".
Illegal gambling businesses (Section 1955)
Involvement in an "enterprise" in a "pattern of racketeering" (The RICO-Statute)
Public Law 91-452-Oct. 15, 1970
Title IX-Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Sec. 901. (a) Title 18, United States Code is amended by addng immediately after chapter 95 thereof the following new chapter:
"Chapter 96.-Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
"(2) "State" means ...
"(3) "person" includes any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property;
"(4) "enterprise" includes any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity;
"(5) "pattern of racketeering activity" requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity;
"(6) "unlawful debt" means a debt (A) incurred or contracted in gambling activity which was in violation of the law of the United States, a State or political subdivision thereof, or which is unenforceable under State or Federal law in whole or in part as to principal or interest because of the laws relating to usury, and (B) which was incurred in connection with the business of gambling in violation of the law of the United States, a State or political subdivision thereof, or the business of lending money or a thing of value at a rate usurious under State or Federal law, where the usurious rate is at least twice the enforceable rate;
"(7) "racketeering investigator" means ...
"(8) "racketeering investigation" means ...
"(9) "documentary material" means ...
"(10) "Attorney General" includes ...
"§ 1962. Prohibited activities
"(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt in which such person has participated as a principal within the meaning of section 2, title 18, United States Code, to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of such income, or the proceeds of such income, in acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of, any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce. ...
"(b) It shall be unlawful for any person through a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce.
"(c) It shall be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise's affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt.
"(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to conspire to violate any of the provisions of subsections (a), (b), or (c) of this section.
"§ 1963. Criminal penalties
"(a) Whoever violates any provision of section 962 of this chapter shall be fined not more than $ 25,000 or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall forfeit to the United States (1) any interest he has acquired or maintained in violation of section 1962, and (2) any interest in, security of, claim against, or property or contractual right of any kind affording a scource of influence over, any enterprise which he has established, operated, controlled, conducted, or participated in the conduct of, in violation of section 1962.
"(b) In any action broght by the United sStates under this section, the district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction to enter such restraining orders or prohibitions, or to take such other actions, including, but not limited to, the acceptance of satisfactory performance bonds, in connection with any property or other interest subject to forfeiture under this section, as it shall deem proper.
"(c) Upon conviction of a person under this section, the court shall authorize the Attorney General to seize all property or other interest declared forfeited under this section upon such terms and conditions as the court shall deem proper. ...
"§ 1964. Civil remedies
"(a) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction to prevent and restrain violations of section 1962 of this chapter by issuing appropriate orders, including, but not limited to: ordering any person to divest himself of any interest, direct or indirect, in any enterprise; imposing reasonable restrictions on the future activities or investments of any person, including, but not limited to, prohibiting any person from engaging in the same type of *1463 endeavor as the enterprise engaged in, the activities of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or ordering dissolution or reorganization of any enterprise, making due provision for the rights of innocent persons.
"(b) The Attorney General may institute proceedings under this section.
Pending final determination thereof, the court may at any time enter such restraining orders or prohibitions, or take such other actions, including the acceptance of satisfactory performance bonds, as it shall deem proper.
"(c) Any person injured in his business or property by reason of a violation of section 1962 of this chapter may sue therefor in any appropriate United States district court and shall recover threefold the damages he sustains and the cost of the suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee.
"(d) A final judgment or decree rendered in favor of the United States in any criminal proceeding brought by the United States under this chapter shall estop the defendant from denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense in any subsequent civil proceeding brought by the United States.
Use of interstate commerce facilities (including mails) in commission of murder-for-hire (Section 1958)
Violent crimes in aid of racketeering activities
Money laundering (Section 1956)
Monetary transactions in property derived from specific
unlawful activity (Section 1957)
Carlson, Kenneth & Peter Finn, Prosecuting Criminal
Enterprises, Bureau of Justice Statistics: Special Report, Washington
D.C. November 1993
George, B.J., Federal and State Legislation against Organized Crime in the United States, in: Criminal Science in
a Global Society: Essays in Honor of Gerhard O.W. Mueller, Littleton,
Colorado 1994, 235 - 262
Blakey, G. Robert, RICO: The Genesis of an Idea, in: Trends in Organized Crime Vol. 9,
2006, 8 - 34
Goldsmith, Michael, RICO and Enterprise Criminality:
A Response to Gerard E. Lynch, in: Columbia Law Review Vol. 88,
1988, 774 - 801
Hermann, Donald H. J., Organized Crime and White
Collar Crime: Prosecution of Organized Crime Infiltration of Legitimate
Business, in: Rutgers Law Journal Vol. 16, No. 3+4, Spring &
Summer 1985, 589-632
Levi, Michael, Smith, Alaster, A comparative analysis of organised crime conspiracy legislation and pracice and their relevance to England and Wales, London: Home Office, 2002
Lynch, Gerard E. Lynch, A Conceptual, Practical,
and Political Guide to RICO Reform, in: Vanderbilt Law Review
Vol. 43, No. 3, April 1990, 769 - 803
Lynch, Gerhard E., RICO: The Crime of Being a Criminal,
Parts I & II, in: Columbia Law Review Vol. 87, No. 4, May
1987, 661 - 764, Parts III & IV, No. 5, June 1987, 920-984
Lynch, Gerard E., A Reply to Michael Goldsmith, in:
Columbia Law Review Vol. 88, 1988, 802 - 807
Mercone, James Morrison, Shapiro, Julie B., Martin, Timothy B., Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, in:
American Criminal Law Review Vol. 869, 2006, 869 - 920