Federal Civil RICO


The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law enacted in 1970 as part of the Organized Crime Control Act. Initially designed to target organized crime syndicates, RICO has been broadly employed to address various forms of racketeering and unlawful activities. Civil RICO specifically allows private individuals and entities to file lawsuits against those engaged in racketeering activities, seeking compensation for damages.

Key Elements of Civil RICO

Predicate Acts

Civil RICO claims require establishing a pattern of racketeering activity, known as “predicate acts.” These acts encompass a range of criminal offenses such as fraud, bribery, extortion, money laundering, and more. Multiple related predicate acts form the basis of a RICO violation.

Pattern of Racketeering Activity

To prove a Civil RICO violation, the plaintiff must demonstrate a pattern of ongoing racketeering activity. This pattern generally involves committing multiple predicate acts within a specific time frame.

Enterprise Requirement

A central aspect of Civil RICO is the existence of an “enterprise.” This can be an association, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity. The enterprise must have an ongoing structure and demonstrate a common purpose.

Causation and Proximate Cause

Successful Civil RICO claims necessitate demonstrating that the defendant’s racketeering activities directly caused the plaintiff’s injury. Proximate cause plays a role in establishing the link between the defendant’s actions and the harm suffered.

Civil RICO in Practice

Private individuals and organizations can bring Civil RICO lawsuits to seek compensation for financial losses resulting from the defendant’s racketeering activities. Civil RICO has been applied to diverse cases, including corporate fraud, securities violations, intellectual property infringement, and more. It offers a tool to address complex legal issues that involve a pattern of unlawful behavior. If successful, plaintiffs in Civil RICO cases may be entitled to treble damages (three times the actual damages), attorney’s fees, and injunctive relief.

Civil RICO serves as a powerful tool to combat organized crime and various forms of racketeering, extending its reach into the legal battles of individuals and businesses. As cases continue to shape the interpretation of this legislation, understanding the core principles of Civil RICO is vital for those seeking justice or defending their rights in complex legal matters.

Civil RICO Consultation

For expert guidance in navigating the intricate world of Civil RICO, consult legal professionals experienced in this area of law. Contact Moore, Christoff & Siddiqui to learn more about how we can assist you in understanding and addressing Civil RICO concerns.