Advising Minnesota Corporations and Other Business Organizations - 2nd Edition - Hardcover
Advising Minnesota Corporations and Other Business Organizations - 2nd Edition - Electronic
§ 85.01 Introduction
§ 85.02 Offenses
§ 85.03 --Investment of Racketeering Proceeds
§ 85.04 --Acquisition or Maintenance of Interest in Enterprise
§ 85.05 --Participation in Enterprise Affairs through Racketeering
§ 85.06 --Conspiracy to Violate RICO
§ 85.07 --Racketeering Activity
§ 85.08 --Enterprise
§ 85.09 --Pattern
§ 85.10 --Interstate Commerce
§ 85.11 Penalties
§ 85.12 --Imprisonment
§ 85.13 --Forfeiture
§ 85.14 --Civil RICO
§ 85.01 Introduction
Congress enacted the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (RICO) in 19701 to combat the increasing control and
influence of organized crime over businesses and other commercial
entities. RICO gave prosecutors broadened power to prosecute organized
crime. Not only does the statute create new crimes, but also it prescribes
harsher penalties, including longer jail terms, forfeiture of property,
government injunctions, and civil suits with treble damages and
attorneys’ fees. Because the statute is so broad in scope, however, it
affects more than traditional organized crime. Legitimate businesses that
violate the statute often suffer the sting of RICO liability.
Corporations, with their organized employees working toward the
common goal of profitable results, contain some of the basic ingredients
that could lead to prohibited racketeering activity. Acts violating RICO
range from fraudulent sales practices to kidnapping or even murder.
Corporations can be held liable and the consequences could be large
damage awards or criminal sanctions and imprisonment. As a result, a
business is well-advised to beware of RICO claims.
As one might expect with such a broad and harsh statute, defendants
have often challenged the constitutionality of RICO, claiming it is vague
and overbroad. This position has been consistently rejected.2 Courts
conclude that being broad is not tantamount to being vague.3 In the
courts’ view, the statute is also clear enough to give the perpetrator
warning of what constitutes illegal conduct.4 This position seems sound,
particularly because RICO offenses are founded on certain "well-known"
federal and state crimes (known as "RICO predicators").
Roger J. Magnuson is a Partner at Dorsey and Whitney, LLP, where he serves as Head of the National Strategic Litigation Group and has practiced since 1973. He has been recognized as one of the top trial lawyers in the United States by major national and international publications, including Chambers International Guide to American Lawyers, which profiles the top 500 trial lawyers in the United States, Best Lawyers in America, Who's Who in American Law, and Who's Who in America. Mr. Magnuson was also recognized by a Journal of Law and Politics' survey for Judge's Choice "Wins Most Cases."
Some high profile cases that he has litigated include representation of the Florida Senate in the Bush v. Gore election controversy in 2000; and representation of the Plaintiffs in the widely publicized and studied Mall of America case. For several years he has represented, among other persons and entities, the Minnesota Twins and Major League Baseball principals and players in litigation; and has litigated national and local cases in federal and state court venues. He has appealed before the Supreme Court in a number of cases; as well as the Minnesota Supreme Court. He has authored several articles and 7 books.
Richard A. Saliterman is a Principal in Saliternan & Siefferman P.C., a full-service firm in Minneapolis established in 1976. Mr. Saliterman is a leading expert on corporate business matters, and is the author of several publications on business start-ups, franchises, and trademarks. Mr. Saliterman is the former National Judge Advocate for the U.S. Navy League, based in Washington D.C.