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RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) Statute - Implications for Organized Labor

NCJ Number
Labor Law Journal Volume: 36 Issue: 5 Dated: (May 1985) Pages: 281-291
G S Roukis; B H Charnov
Date Published
9 pages
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) of 1970 seeks to strengthen the legal tools in evidence gathering by establishing new penal prohibitions and providing enhanced sanctions and new remedies for dealing with the unlawful activities of those engaged in organized crime.
The power of RICO lies in its conspiracy provision, based on an enterprise rationale, that allows tying together apparently unrelated crimes with a common objective into a prosecutable pattern of racketeering. In addition, RICO provides for severer penalties and permits a defendant to be convicted and separately punished for both the underlying crimes that constitute the pattern of racketeering activity and for a substantive violation of RICO. Finally, injunctive relief provisions allow for the prohibition of further involvement with the labor organization of the convicted racketeering associates. Thus, RICO provides an effective method both for establishing the existence of organized crime's penetration into labor unions and for excising corrupt union officials from positions of leadership. The deterrent power of RICO enforcement over time should produce a more viable, democratically elected union leadership. 82 footnotes.