U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Drafting a State Civil RICO Statute: A Comparative Analysis of Five Statutes

NCJ Number
Cameron H. Holmes
Date Published
March 1990
77 pages
This monograph provides guidance and examples intended to assist States in enacting or amending State civil RICO statutes that will enhance drug law enforcement.
RICO is the acronym for the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which was passed in 1970. RICO makes it unlawful for any person to use a pattern of racketeering activity or the proceeds of such activity to invest in, acquire control over, or conduct the affairs of an interstate criminal enterprise. Since 1970, 29 States have enacted similar legislation, which encourages cooperation among victims, the State, and the courts in deterring and remedying racket-based and other ongoing criminal activity. State RICO statutes have become a major tool for civil remedies against money laundering and fraud. RICO civil remedies focus on the underlying profit motive of ongoing criminal networks, providing financial tools that law enforcement can use to combat multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprises. This monograph's main feature is an examination of the RICO statutes of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Oregon. Corresponding provisions are compared among these State statutes. The various provisions are assessed and guidance is provided in selecting the most appropriate legislation for a particular State. The provisions examined are title, construction, legislative findings, definitions, violations/prohibited conduct, criminal penalties, civil remedies, criminal activity and investigation fund, criminal activity lien notice, registration of alien corporations, investigation by the attorney general, and granting of immunity. The essential components of a State RICO statute are identified as the provisions that specify violations and prohibited conduct, the criminal penalties, and the civil remedies. Appended States contact list