Legal Memorandum: RICO Claims in VI

Issue: Under the law of the Virgin Islands, what must a plaintiff establish to prevail on a claim for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act?

Area of Law: Criminal Law
Keywords: Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); Racketeering activity; Civil conspiracy
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 660 F. Supp. 2d 679; 572 F. Supp. 667; 897 F.2d 21
Cited Statutes: 18 U.S.C. § 1962; 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c); Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Date: 04/01/2015

Federal law prohibits racketeering activity to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise which is engaged in, or activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct the affairs of an enterprise by the same, or to conspire to do so.  18 U.S.C. § 1962.  Federal law further provides for a civil action by anyone injured by such racketeering activity.  18 U.S.C. § 1964(c).  The plaintiffs’ complaint must, at a minimum, allege an agreement to commit the predicate acts to establish a civil conspiracy.  Field v. GMAC LLC, 660 F. Supp. 2d 679, 688 (E.D. Va. 2008) (quoting Hecht v. Comm. Clearing House. Inc., 897 F.2d 21, 25 (2d Cir. 1990)).  RICO claims are subject to the pleading requirements of Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Beck v. Cantor, Fitzgerald & Co., 621 F. Supp. 1547, 1562 (N.D. Ill. 1985) (citing Taylor v. Bear Stearns & Co., 572 F. Supp. 667, 682 (N.D. Ga. 1983)).


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