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Legal Memorandum: Requirements for Establishing a RICO Claim

Issue: What is required to establish a claim under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) pursuant to 18 U.S.C.  1962(d)?

Area of Law: Criminal Law
Keywords: Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); RICO conspiracy; Proving a conspiracy
Jurisdiction: Federal, Minnesota
Cited Cases: 112 F.3d 1339
Cited Statutes: 18 U.S.C. 1962(c), 1962(d)
Date: 01/01/2009

“When a plaintiff has already established a right to relief under § 1962(c), he may show a conspiracy to violate RICO simply by presenting additional evidence that the defendant entered into an agreement to breach the statute.”  Handeen v. Lemaire, 112 F.3d 1339, 1354 (8th Cir. 1997).  Proving a conspiracy requires only that the plaintiff establish “‘a tacit understanding between the parties, and this may be shown wholly through the circumstantial evidence of [each defendant’s] actions.'”  Id. at 1355 (citation omitted).  Summary judgment on liability for RICO conspiracy will not lie if there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the defendant “‘objectively manifested an agreement to participate directly, or indirectly, in the affairs of [the] enterprise through the commission of two or more predicate crimes.'”  Id. (quoting United States v. Bennett, 44 F.3d 1364, 1372 (8th Cir. 1995).

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