RICO, criminal enterprises, proof


This Note addresses the circuit split among the U.S. Courts of Appeals over whether proving an associated-in-fact RICO enterprise requires proof of some ascertainable structure distinct from the underlying pattern of racketeering. After discussing the history of RICO and RICO enterprises, this Note dissects the three-way circuit split and details the facts and positions of Boyle v. United States. Finally, this Note argues that the U.S. Supreme Court needs to resolve the split with the common-sense position that some ascertainable-structure proof requirement is needed—although the enterprise need not have a purpose distinct from the pattern of racketeering—to balance the potential dangers of RICO’s overbreadth with the need to combat the dangers for which RICO was enacted.

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