Part I of this Comment discusses the background of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by examining the history of common law conspiracy, the legislative background of RICO, and the evolution of the RICO enterprise through court decisions. Part I also examines laws in Italy and France prohibiting criminal associations. Part II analyzes Reves v. Ernst & Young and its test for determining participation in a RICO association-in-fact enterprise. Part III argues that the legislative history of RICO, the role RICO plays in federal criminal law, and the functional similarity of criminal association laws abroad demonstrate that peripheral associates should be liable as members of a RICO association-in-fact enterprise. The most effective and unambiguous method of interpreting RICO would require that membership in an association-in-fact be based on the intent and actions of a participant rather than on a managerial role in an organizational hierarchy. The language of the RICO statute, the legislative history, and analogous provisions in foreign criminal codes call for a more expansive reading of RICO. This Comment concludes that applying an inclusive definition of RICO to people who participate in patterns of racketeering activity with the requisite mens rea, mental state, would best carry out Congress' intent to attack racketeering and criminal organizations.
Alexander D. Tripp,
Margins of the Mob: A Comparison of Reves v. Ernst & Young with Criminal Association Laws in Italy and France,
20 Fordham Int'l L.J. 263
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol20/iss1/6