Essay The Racketeer Influences and Corrupt Organizations Act

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The Racketeer Influences and Corrupt Organizations Act

In 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (US Code-Title 18), or RICO, to provide a powerful tool in the fight against organized crime. The RICO Act enables persons financially injured by a pattern of criminal activity to bring a RICO claim in state and federal court, and to obtain damages three times the amount of their actual harm, plus attorneys fees and costs (www.ricoact.com). Since the mid-1980’s, the RICO Act has been applied in circumstances that many believe to be beyond the scope of the act. The RICO Act has been used successfully against a number of members of the Mafia. It has also been applied in cases against legitimate
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These individuals are also required to forfeit to the United States any interest that has been acquired or maintained in violation of this section. They also must forfeit any interest in; security of; claim against; or property or contractual right of any kind affording a source of influence over; any enterprise which the person has established, operated controlled, conducted, or participated in conduct that is in violation of the Act. Any property constituting, or derived from any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from racketeering activity or unlawful debt collection is also subject to forfeiture.
Property subject to criminal forfeiture includes real property, including things growing on, affixed to, and found on land; and tangible and intangible personal property, including rights, privileges, interests, claims, and securities (www.4law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/1963.text.num). The attorney general becomes responsible for all aspects of the forfeited property including, but not limited to, disposition, maintenance, and compromise claims with regard to the property. The proceeds from disposed forfeited property must be used to pay all proper expenses for the forfeiture and the sale, including expenses of seizure, custody and maintenance of the

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