The Pronk Pops Show 741, August 23, 2016, Story 1: Bonnie and Clyde Robbed Banks — Bill and Hillary Robbed The American People and Committed Perjury — Pay for Play — Selling State Department Access to Foreign Nationals — Story 2: Trump Calls for Independent Special Prosecutor To Investigate Clinton Foundation and Pay for Play! — Clinton: “What’s a few more (15,000) emails!” — Clinton Unfit For Office of President — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 741: August 23, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 740: August 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 739: August 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 738: August 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 737: August 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 736: August 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 735: August 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 734: August 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 733: August 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 732: August 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 731: August 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 730: August 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 729: August 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 728: July 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 727: July 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 726: July 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 725: July 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 724: July 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 723: July 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 722: July 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 721: July 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 720: July 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 719: July 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 718: July 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 717: July 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 716: July 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 715: July 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 714: July 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 713: July 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 712: July 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 711: July 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 710: June 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 709: June 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 708: June 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 707: June 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 706: June 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 705: June 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 704: June 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 703: June 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 702: June 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 701: June 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 700: June 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 699: June 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 698: June 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 697: June 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 696: June 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 695: June 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 694: June 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 693: June 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 692: June 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 691: June 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 690: June 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 689: May 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 688: May 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 687: May 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 686: May 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 685: May 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 684: May 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 683: May 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 682: May 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 681: May 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 680: May 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 679: May 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 678: May 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 677: May 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 676: May 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 675: May 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 674: May 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 673: May 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 672: May 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 671: May 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 670: May 2, 2016

 

Story 1: Bonnie and Clyde Robbed Banks — Bill and Hillary Robbed The American People and Committed Perjury — Pay for Play — Selling State Department Access to Foreign Nationals — 

boxes Clinton-Foundation-Drive-Through  george practicestate-dept-for-saleclinton-foundation-donationsracketClintonFoundationExpensesclinton crime familypay-play-hillary-clinton-sold-state-department-awards-crony-politics

Controversy surrounds Clinton emails and Clinton Foundation

The Smoking Gun In The Clinton Foundation Scandal! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

New revelations in the Hillary Clinton email scandal

Clinton Foundation Scandal – Hillary Clinton Public Corruption – Andrew Napolitano – Stuart Varney

Feds Investigating Clinton Foundation Pay to Play! Hillary Screwed? 8/19/16

PLAY IT FORWARD: Clinton Corruption Proven – Marc Rich, Denise Rich and the Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation Exposed | Charles Ortel and Stefan Molyneux

Rudy Giuliani “Clinton Foundation Is A Racketeering Enterprise To Enrich The Clintons!”

Peter Schweizer: Now We Have, Influencing Our Politics & Getting Favors & Access, Foreign Oligarchs

Did Clinton Foundation use ‘pay for play’ tactics?

Trump: Clinton email probe needs a special prosecutor

Story 2: Trump Calls for Independent Special Prosecutor To Investigate Clinton Foundation and Pay for Play! — Clinton: “What’s a few more (15,000) emails!” — Clinton Unfit For Office of President — Videos

Trump Calls for Special Prosecutor to Investigate Clinton

Full Speech: Donald Trump rallies in Akron, Ohio

The Slimy Trail of Marc Rich: How One of the Clintons’ Best Friends Gave the Gift That Keeps on Giving

 

n the years following Bill Clinton’s scandal-tainted presidency, one name keeps popping up time and time again in relation to perhaps the last great brouhaha of that era; that name is Marc Rich.

Marc Rich, born Marcel Reich, was a notorious commodities trader and international financier who was convicted of tax fraud in the U.S. in the wake of oil purchases from Iran during the 1979 American hostage crisis. If that was Rich’s only crime, Washington pundits and insiders might have been able to look the other way when Bill Clinton issued a presidential pardon for Rich on Clinton’s last day in office, January 20, 2001.

But the Iranian oil buys were just a drop in the bucket of Rich’s long and storied career of negotiating metals and commodities deals for vilified dictators and despots around the world, including Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi, North Korea’s Kim Il Sung, Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos.

In fact, Rich made his fortune by dealing with states and leaders who were international pariahs and whom U.S. law forbade trade with over five decades. The Iranian dealings were highly illegal and unpopular during a time when the Ayatollah Khomeini was seen as the face of true evil in the U.S. When news of the dealings was made public, Rich became public enemy number one, and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Rudolph Giuliani made Rich’s prosecution his highest priority. The case dragged on two decades. Rich fled the United States to Switzerland, where he remained until his death in 2013, even after Clinton’s pardon, never to return to the country of his youth and education.

Why would Bill Clinton pardon someone so infamous and obviously disreputable? Certainly, Rich had the opposite of popular support in the U.S.; he was a billionaire who boasted of flouting the law and using tax loopholes to his advantage while the country suffered through recession during the 1980s.

The answer may be found in Rich’s wife’s donation of $450,000 to the Clinton Library and $1 million to Clinton-supported Democratic causes in the period prior to Rich’s pardon. Even to this day, Denise Rich remains a close personal friend of the Clintons and a repeated donor to Hillary Clinton’s senatorial and presidential campaigns, despite renouncing her American citizenship for tax purposes.

Denise’s good friend Beth Dozoretz, a veteran Democratic Party contributor, apparently was so close to Bill Clinton that he telephoned her 10 days before the pardon took place to give her advance notice of the good news to pass on to her pal. After Bill left office, Dozoretz was hired for a senior State Department post under Hillary after serving as the finance co-chair of her 2008 presidential campaign. In recent years, she’s supported Hillary’s “Ready For Hillary” Super PAC and donated up to $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation with her husband Ron.

Marc Rich’s former spouse isn’t the only association the Clintons retain with the now-deceased financier. The extended family of convicted money launderer and oil trader Gilbert Chagoury is also well-known to the Clintons. Chagoury sold Nigerian oil with Rich but was prosecuted in connection with embezzlement during the regime of his associate, Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha. Chagoury donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Senate presidential run and pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Foundation.

His money laundering conviction was later overturned, and it’s left to observers to ponder if tight connections to the Clintons had anything to do with it. Chaghoury’s nephew Michel in Los Angeles served on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign staff and was a bundler for big-money donors. Other Chaghoury relatives donated heavily to Clinton’s multiple federal campaigns.

Bill Clinton in return has championed Gilbert Chagoury, serving as a keynote speaker when the trader received a “Pride of Heritage” award within the Lebanese community. The Clinton Global Initiative gave Chagoury’s company a sustainable development award in 2009. Chagoury was a guest at Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday party.

Former Rich employee and Russian investor Sergei Kurzin made a fortune in commodities in the former Soviet Union. One of his larger deals was signed off on by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, whereby Russia purchased 20 percent of the United States’ uranium production capacity in 2010. During the time the deal was in negotiation, Bill Clinton was coincidentally given a fee of $500,000 to speak in Moscow by a Russian investment bank promoting the enterprise. At the same time, Kurzin donated $1 million to Bill’s favorite charity, the Clinton Foundation.

Former Rich commodity trading partners Simon and David Reuben made a fortune with their firm, Trans World Metals. Since then, they have been highly enthusiastic supporters of both Clintons, donating tens of thousands to the Clinton Foundation and co-sponsoring a star-studded gala for the charity in London. Other Rich partners and employees such as Clyde Meltzer (who was indicted in 1983 along with Rich) and Gershon Kekst, who handled Rich’s P.R., have been large donors to Hillary’s multiple campaigns. Rich’s former attorneys Jack Quinn, Robert Fink and Peter Kadzik have also donated to Hillary’s various bids for office.

Lastly, there are numerous undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, despite its pledges of transparency in funding, which have links to the commodities and mining industries in Canada and other foreign nations.

In fact, many people suspect the bulk of the funding of the Clinton Foundation, which now boasts an endowment of more than $2 billion, is tied to foreign sources. If the Clinton’s political history was merely in the past, this might not be of such concern. But with Hillary in full-bore 2016 campaign mode and noted donors such as convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein, French hedge-fund manager Arpad Busson, Canadian mining billionaire Frank Giustra (who alone has given the Clintons more than $25 million), U.K. retail magnate Richard Caring, financier George Soros, and hedge fund managers S. Donald Sussman and David E. Shaw supporting her efforts, it’s hard to see where the Clintons’ public interests stop and their private interests begin.

During the administrations of husband Bill, the Lincoln bedroom had a notorious revolving door for big donors. Under Hillary, who knows what might be promised to special interests and global third parties. Clearly, Marc Rich’s associates and their ilk have a favorite candidate in mind for 2016.

 http://www.americanlibertyreport.com/articles/the-slimy-trail-of-marc-rich-how-one-of-the-clintons-best-friends-gave-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/#sthash.brMx9wFL.dpuf

 

Judge orders Hillary Clinton email releases every 30 days

A federal judge issued an order Wednesday requiring the State Department to make public batches of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails every 30 days starting next month.

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras also set particular targets for the agency to meet each month as it wades through the roughly 30,000 emails totaling about 55,000 pages. (The percentages set for each disclosure can be viewed in the judge’s written order, posted here.)

The monthly disclosure essentially splits the difference between the State Department’s most recent proposal of releases every 60 days and lawyers for Vice News reporter Jason Leopold, who proposed releases every two weeks.

The State Department initially proposed releasing the vast majority of the emails in a single batch by next January, but Contreras rejected that suggestion, citing the public interest in the materials.

Clinton, now a Democratic candidate for president, has said she wants the emails released by State as quickly as possible.

Vice News sought the emails and other records from Clinton’s office last year under the Freedom of Information Act and filed suit earlier this year when the media outlet received no substantive response.

Clinton returned the 55,000 pages of emails to her former agency in December after an October request to four former secretaries asking for any official records in their possession. The former secretary, who used a private account for all her emails during her four years as America’s top diplomat, also has said she had erased a roughly equivalent number of emails her lawyers determined to be personal or private.

Last week, the State Department released on its website about 850 pages of the Clinton emails pertaining to the deadly attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi in 2012 and related issues.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2015/05/judge-orders-hillary-clinton-email-releases-every-30-days-207757#ixzz4IByxXJ8Y

 

 

Pay to play

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Play or pay contract or Pay to win.
For the EP by Yashin, see Pay to Play (EP).

Pay to play, sometimes pay for play, is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage in certain activities. The common denominator of all forms of pay to play is that one must pay to “get in the game,” with the sports analogy frequently arising.[1]

In politics

In politics, pay to play refers to a system, akin to payola in the music industry, by which one pays (or must pay) money to become a player.

Typically, the payer (an individual, business, or organization) makes campaign contributions to public officials, party officials, or parties themselves, and receives political or pecuniary benefit such as no-bid government contracts, influence over legislation,[2][3] political appointments or nominations,[4][5] special access[6] or other favors. The contributions, less frequently, may be to nonprofit or institutional entities,[7] or may take the form of some benefit to a third party, such as a family member of a governmental official.[8]

The phrase, almost always used in criticism, also refers to the increasing cost of elections and the “price of admission” to even run[9] and the concern “that one candidate can far outspend his opponents, essentially buying the election.”[10]

While the direct exchange of campaign contributions for contracts is the most visible form of pay to play, the greater concern is the central role of money in politics, and its skewing both the composition and the policies of government.[11][12] Thus, those who can pay the price of admission, such as to a $1000/plate dinner or $25,000 “breakout session,” gain access to power and/or its spoils, to the exclusion of those who cannot or will not pay: “giving certain people advantages that other[s] don’t have because they donated to your campaign.”[13] Good-government advocates consider this an outrage because “political fundraising should have no relationship to policy recommendations.”[14] Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington called the “Pay-to-Play Congress” one of the top 10 scandals of 2008.[15]

Incumbent candidates and their political organizations[16] are typically the greatest beneficiaries of Pay-to-Play. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been criticized for the practice. Many seeking to ban or restrict the practice characterize [2] as legalized corruption.

The opposite of a pay-to-play system is one that is “fair and open”; the New Jersey Pay to Play Act specifically sets out bid processes that are or are not considered fair and open, depending upon who has contributed what to whom.[17]

Because of individual federal campaign contribution limits in the wake of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold), pay-to-play payments of “soft money” (money not contributed directly to candidate campaigns and that does not “expressly advocate” election or defeat of a candidate) donations to state parties and county committees have come under greater scrutiny. This method refers to money that is donated to an intermediary with a higher contribution limit, which in turn donates money to individual candidates or campaign committees who could not directly accept the payor’s funds.

Pay-to-Play practices have come under scrutiny by both the federal government[18] and a number of states.[19] In Illinois, federal prosecutors in 2006 were investigating “pay-to-play allegations that surround Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s administration.”[20] The allegations of pay-to-play in Illinois became a national scandal after the arrest of Gov. Blagojevich in December 2008, on charges that, among other things, he and a staffer attempted to “sell” the vacated U.S. Senate seat of then-president-elect Barack Obama.[21][22]

Many agencies have been created to regulate and control campaign contributions. Furthermore, many third-party government “watchdog” groups have formed to monitor campaign donations and make them more transparent.

In a series of academic research articles, Christopher Cotton shows how selling access may lead to better policy decisions compared to other means of awarding access.[23] He also illustrates how wealthy interest groups are not necessarily better off from having better access to politicians.[24]

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule that puts some restrictions on asset managers when they make campaign contributions. The New York and Tennessee Republican parties filed a lawsuit against the SEC in August over the 2010 rule, arguing that it impedes free speech, seeking a preliminary injunction against the rule. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell questioned whether the parties have standing to bring the case, noting they failed to name the potential donors and did not cite any investment advisers who are upset about the rule.[25]

In investment management

The term may be used describing practices in asset management, whereby investment manager firms, or their employees, make campaign contributions to politicians or candidates for office in the hope that the asset management firm will be selected as a manager for various governmental funds (e.g., state pension funds or similar public funds). In the US the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) place severe limits on these contributions, most notably in Rule 206(4)-5 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, .[26]

An example of this form of corruption or bribery is the 2009 probe by then New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo into private equity funds payments to placement agents with political connections to obtain business with the New York State Common Retirement System.[27][28]

In music

Main article: Payola

The term also refers to a growing trend, where venue owners charge an up-front fee to performing artists for the use of their facilities. The practice began in Los Angeles, California, during the 1980s. It has become common in many U.S. cities at low-turnout all-ages shows where performers are required to guarantee a minimum attendance through pre-show ticket sales.[29] Pay-to-play gigs are a contentious practice in the UK, and some of the largest pay-to-play gig organisers have generated large amounts of discussion and criticism.[citation needed]

The term “Pay to Play” was also used as the title to a song by the band Nirvana (later renamed to “Stay Away”). The refrain referred to the practice of a band or their record label paying radio stations to put a song into heavy rotation. The phrase is also the title to a song by the band Cringer, in which they denounce the practice.

Music Supervision is a booming field in the music industry, whose professionals place music in many kinds of film, television, commercial, web-based and other live and recorded media cues. While some music supervisors are paid only by their employer or per-project, some companies use a “pay to play” model wherein artists “pay” to “submit” tracks for consideration to a variety of media concerns, only to have to pay the Music Supervision intermediary again at a cost of half of its earning for the track placement should it win a placement.

In stand-up comedy

In a pay-to-play gig, the performer will either pay the promoter some money to be allowed to perform at the show, or will have to offer some in-kind payment. In a conventional comedy club, the promoter will pay the acts for their performance, and will raise the money to stage the gig by charging the audience. Some clubs offer open mic slots, where newer acts are allowed to learn the craft, unpaid; this is not the same as pay-to-play. Many comedians are against pay-to-play schemes, which they consider exploitative.[30]

Pay-to-play was cited as a cause of major damage to the quality of the New York comedy scene.[31] In economic terms, a pay-to-play strategy elevates those people who can afford to perform for nothing, or can afford to pay for their stage-time, which has nothing to do with their quality as an act. The pay-to-play promoter is able to profit from the goodwill and desire to perform of the acts, while discouraging appearances by those who cannot afford to perform without payment.

In some shows, the performer is asked to bring a certain number of paying audience members. As a payment in kind policy, this has caused similar controversy to pay-to-play.[32] A show where the acts are obliged to bring the audience is called a bringer.[30]

In engineering, design, and construction

Pay to play in the engineering, design, and construction industry can refer to:

  1. monetary and gift exchanges to persuade decision makers such that they make decisions in favor of those offering the money or gifts;
  2. exchanges of money or gifts and providing sponsorships such that the engineering, design, or construction company gets considered for work that would not otherwise be available (this in essence becomes a type of pre-qualification for work – contracts; and
  3. illegal acts of bribery.

Pay to play might also be used to explain the appearance of engineering, design, and construction public work being done not in an open and fair manner.

In broadcasting

Main article: Brokered programming

The term also refers to a growing trend in which individuals or groups may purchase radio or television airtime, much like infomercials, to have their views heard on broadcast stations. While these types of shows are typically shows that have little sponsor support and have no substantiated audience, some major program producers do purchase airtime to “clear” their programs in certain major markets.[citation needed]

In the visual arts

Similar to the trend cited above in music, pay to play is the practice of visual artists paying gallery owners, dealers, curators, publishers, festival and contest sponsors, and better-established artists to critique, review, judge, exhibit, collect, or publish works created in such disparate media as painting, photography, video, and sculpture. Pay to Play is a type of vanity gallery. Pay to Play is characterized by cash flow that moves away from visual artists. Pay to Play is sold to visual artists and justified by visual artists as “an investment in future sales”[33] and may be self-victimization.[34]

In online gaming

See also: Pay to win

The term is also used as slang to refer to Internet services that require that users pay to use them. Usually, it refers to MMORPGs, where players must pay to maintain a playing account, as is the case with Eve Online or World of Warcraft. This is in contrast to free-to-play games. Many formerly pay-to-play MMORPGs have switched to a free-to-play model, including EverQuest, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Aion: The Tower of Eternity, and The Lord of the Rings Online. The game RuneScape features both free accounts for no money or pay-to-play accounts, with a much larger list of features.

The term may also refer to something like the online game Habbo Hotel, where there are games inside the game, which you may “pay to play” to join into a game whilst it is in progress.

In corporate finance

Pay to play is a provision in a corporation’s charter documents (usually inserted as part of a preferred stock financing) that requires stockholders to participate in subsequent stock offerings in order to benefit from certainantidilution protections. If the stockholder does not purchase his or her pro rata share in the subsequent offering, then the stockholder loses the benefit(s) of the antidilution provisions. In extreme cases, investors who do not participate in subsequent rounds must convert to common stock, thereby losing the protective provisions of the preferred stock. This approach minimizes the fears of major investors that small or minority investors will benefit by having the major investors continue providing needed equity, particularly in troubled economic circumstances for the company. It is considered a “harsh” provision that is usually only inserted when one party has a strong bargaining position.

See also

References

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Meek Mill song, see R.I.C.O. (song).
“RICO” redirects here. For the Better Call Saul episode, see RICO (Better Call Saul). For other uses, see RICO (disambiguation).
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act relating to the control of organized crime in the United States
Acronyms(colloquial)
  • OCCA
  • RICO
Nicknames Organized Crime Control Act of 1970
Enacted by the 91st United States Congress
Effective October 15, 1970
Citations
Public law 91-452
Statutes at Large 84 Stat. 922-3 aka 84 Stat. 941
Codification
Titles amended 18 U.S.C.: Crimes and Criminal Procedure
U.S.C.sections created 18 U.S.C. §§ 19611968
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 30 by John L. McClellan (DAR)
  • Passed the Senate on January 23, 1970 (74-1)
  • Passed the House on October 7, 1970 (341-26)
  • Signed into law by President Richard Nixon onOctober 15, 1970

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoingcriminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because he did not actually commit the crime personally.[1]

RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91–452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October 15, 1970), and is codified at 18 U.S.C. ch. 96 as 18 U.S.C. §§ 19611968. G. Robert Blakey, an adviser to the United States Senate Government Operations Committee, drafted the law under the close supervision of the committee’s chairman, SenatorJohn Little McClellan. It was enacted as Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and signed into law by Richard M. Nixon. While its original use in the 1970s was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.

Beginning in 1972, 33 States adopted state RICO laws to be able to prosecute similar conduct.

Summary

Under RICO, a person who has committed “at least two acts of racketeering activity” drawn from a list of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related in one of four specified ways to an “enterprise”. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.”

When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he or she has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant’s assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. This provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets. An injunction and/or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict.

In many cases, the threat of a RICO indictment can force defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges, in part because the seizure of assets would make it difficult to pay a defense attorney. Despite its harsh provisions, a RICO-related charge is considered easy to prove in court, as it focuses on patterns of behavior as opposed to criminal acts.[2]

RICO also permits a private individual “damaged in his business or property” by a “racketeer” to file a civil suit. The plaintiff must prove the existence of an “enterprise”. The defendant(s) are not the enterprise; in other words, the defendant(s) and the enterprise are not one and the same.[3] There must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise: either the defendant(s) invested the proceeds of the pattern of racketeering activity into the enterprise (18 U.S.C. § 1962(a)); or the defendant(s) acquired or maintained an interest in, or control of, the enterprise through the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (b)); or the defendant(s) conducted or participated in the affairs of the enterprise “through” the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (c)); or the defendant(s) conspired to do one of the above (subsection (d)).[4] In essence, the enterprise is either the ‘prize,’ ‘instrument,’ ‘victim,’ or ‘perpetrator’ of the racketeers.[5] A civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court.[6]

Both the criminal and civil components allow the recovery of treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages).

Although its primary intent was to deal with organized crime, Blakey said that Congress never intended it to merely apply to the Mob. He once told Time, “We don’t want one set of rules for people whose collars are blue or whose names end in vowels, and another set for those whose collars are white and have Ivy League diplomas.”[2]

Initially, prosecutors were skeptical of using RICO, mainly because it was unproven. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, federal prosecutors used the law to bring charges against several Mafia figures. The first major success was the Mafia Commission Trial, which resulted in several top leaders of New York City’s Five Families getting what amounted to life sentences. By the turn of the century, RICO cases resulted in virtually all of the top leaders of the New York Mafia being sent to prison.

State laws

Beginning in 1972, 33 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, adopted state RICO laws to cover additional state offenses under a similar scheme.[7]

RICO predicate offenses

Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended it includes:

Pattern of racketeering activity requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity. The U.S. Supreme Court has instructed federal courts to follow the continuity-plus-relationship test in order to determine whether the facts of a specific case give rise to an established pattern. Predicate acts are related if they “have the same or similar purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission, or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated events.” (H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.) Continuity is both a closed and open ended concept, referring to either a closed period of conduct, or to past conduct that by its nature projects into the future with a threat of repetition.

Application of RICO laws

Although some of the RICO predicate acts are extortion and blackmail, one of the most successful applications of the RICO laws has been the ability to indict and or sanction individuals for their behavior and actions committed against witnesses and victims in alleged retaliation or retribution for cooperating with federal law enforcement or intelligence agencies.

Violations of the RICO laws can be alleged in civil lawsuit cases or for criminal charges. In these instances charges can be brought against individuals or corporations in retaliation for said individuals or corporations working with law enforcement. Further, charges can also be brought against individuals or corporations who have sued or filed criminal charges against a defendant.

Anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) laws can be applied in an attempt to curb alleged abuses of the legal system by individuals or corporations who use the courts as a weapon to retaliate against whistle blowers, victims, or to silence another’s speech. RICO could be alleged if it can be shown that lawyers and/or their clients conspired and collaborated to concoct fictitious legal complaints solely in retribution and retaliation for themselves having been brought before the courts.

Although the RICO laws may cover drug trafficking crimes in addition to other more traditional RICO predicate acts such as extortion, blackmail, and racketeering, large-scale and organized drug networks are now commonly prosecuted under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute, also known as the “Kingpin Statute”. The CCE laws target only traffickers who are responsible for long-term and elaborate conspiracies; whereas the RICO law covers a variety of organized criminal behaviors.[8]

Famous cases

Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

In 1979 the United States Federal Government went after Sonny Barger and several members and associates of the Oakland charter of the Hells Angels using RICO. In United States vs. Barger, the prosecution team attempted to demonstrate a pattern of behavior to convict Barger and other members of the club of RICO offenses related to guns and illegal drugs. The jury acquitted Barger on the RICO charges with a hung jury on the predicate acts: “There was no proof it was part of club policy, and as much as they tried, the government could not come up with any incriminating minutes from any of our meetings mentioning drugs and guns.”[9][10]

Frank Tieri

On November 21, 1980, Genovese crime family boss Frank “Funzi” Tieri was the first Mafia boss to be convicted under the RICO Act.[citation needed]

Catholic sex abuse cases

In some jurisdictions, RICO suits have been filed against Catholic dioceses, using anti-racketeering laws to prosecute the highers-up in the episcopacy for abuses committed by those under their authority[citation needed]. E.g. a Cleveland grand jury cleared two bishops of racketeering charges, finding that their mishandling of sex abuse claims did not amount to criminal racketeering[citation needed]. Notably, a similar suit was not filed against Cardinal Bernard Law, then Archbishop/Emeritus of Boston, prior to his assignment to Vatican City.[11][12] In 2016, RICO charges were considered for cover-ups in Pennsylvania.[13]

Gil Dozier

Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Gil Dozier, in office from 1976 to 1980, faced indictment with violations of both the Hobbs and the RICO laws. He was accused of compelling companies doing business with his department to make campaign contributions on his behalf. On September 23, 1980, the Baton Rouge-based United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana convicted Dozier of five counts of extortion and racketeering. The sentence of ten years imprisonment, later upgraded to eighteen when other offenses were determined, and a $25,000 fine was suspended pending appeal, and Dozier remained free on bail.[14] He eventually served nearly four years until a presidential commutation freed him in 1986.[15]

Key West PD

About June 1984 the Key West Police Department located in the County of Monroe, Florida, was declared a criminal enterprise under the federal RICO statutes after a lengthy United States Department of Justice investigation. Several high-ranking officers of the department, including Deputy Police Chief Raymond Cassamayor, were arrested on federal charges of running aprotection racket for illegal cocaine smugglers.[16] At trial, a witness testified he routinely delivered bags of cocaine to the Deputy Chief’s office at City Hall.[17]

Michael Milken

On 29 March 1989 American financier Michael Milken was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and fraud relating to an investigation into an allegation of insider trading and other offenses. Milken was accused of using a wide-ranging network of contacts to manipulate stock and bond prices. It was one of the first occasions that a RICO indictment was brought against an individual with no ties to organized crime. Milken pleaded guilty to six lesser felonies of securities fraud and tax evasion rather than risk spending the rest of his life in prison and ended up serving 22 months in prison. Milken was also ordered banned for life from the securities industry.[18]

On 7 September 1988, Milken’s employer, Drexel Burnham Lambert, was threatened with RICO charges respondat superior, the legal doctrine that corporations are responsible for their employees’ crimes. Drexel avoided RICO charges by entering an Alford plea to lesser felonies of stock parking and stock manipulation. In a carefully worded plea, Drexel said it was “not in a position to dispute the allegations” made by the Government. If Drexel had been indicted under RICO statutes, it would have had to post a performance bond of up to $1 billion to avoid having its assets frozen. This would have taken precedence over all of the firm’s other obligations—including the loans that provided 96 percent of its capital base. If the bond ever had to be paid, its shareholders would have been practically wiped out. Since banks will not extend credit to a firm indicted under RICO, an indictment would have likely put Drexel out of business.[19]By at least one estimate, a RICO indictment would have destroyed the firm within a month.[20] Years later, Drexel president and CEO Fred Joseph said that Drexel had no choice but to plead guilty because “a financial institution cannot survive a RICO indictment.”[21]

Major League Baseball

In 2002, the former minority owners of the Montreal Expos baseball team filed charges under the RICO Act against Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and former Expos ownerJeffrey Loria, claiming that Selig and Loria deliberately conspired to devalue the team for personal benefit in preparation for a move.[22] If found liable, Major League Baseball could have been responsible for up to $300 million in punitive damages. The case lasted two years, successfully stalling the Expos’ move to Washington or contraction during that time. It was eventually sent to arbitration where the arbiters ruled in favor of Major League Baseball,[23] permitting the move to Washington to take place.

Pro-life activists

RICO laws were successfully cited in NOW v. Scheidler, 510 U.S. 249, 114 S. Ct. 798, 127 L.Ed. 2d 99 (1994), a suit in which certain parties, including the National Organization for Women, sought damages and an injunction against pro-life activists who physically block access to abortion clinics. The Court held that a RICO enterprise does not need an economic motive, and that the Pro-Life Action Network could therefore qualify as a RICO enterprise. The Court remanded for consideration of whether PLAN committed the requisite acts in a pattern of racketeering activity.

Los Angeles Police Department

In April 2000, federal judge William J. Rea in Los Angeles, ruling in one Rampart scandal case, said that the plaintiffs could pursue RICO claims against the LAPD, an unprecedented finding. The idea that a police organization could be characterized as a racketeering enterprise shook up City Hall and further damaged the already-tarnished image of the LAPD. However, in July 2001, U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess said that the plaintiffs do not have standing to sue the LAPD under RICO because they are alleging personal injuries, rather than economic or property damage.[24]

Mohawk Industries

On April 26, 2006, the Supreme Court heard Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Williams, No. 05-465, 547 U.S. 516 (2006), which concerned what sort of corporations fell under the scope of RICO. Mohawk Industries had allegedly hired illegal aliens, in violation of RICO. The court was asked to decide whether Mohawk Industries, along with recruiting agencies, constitutes an ‘enterprise’ that can be prosecuted under RICO, but in June of that year dismissed the case and remanded it to Court of Appeals.[25]

Latin Kings

On August 20, 2006, in Tampa, Florida, most of the state leadership members of the street gang, the Latin Kings, were arrested in connection with RICO conspiracy charges to engage in racketeering and currently await trial. The operation, called “Broken Crown”, targeted statewide leadership of the Latin Kings. The raid occurred at the Caribbean American Club. Along withHillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were involved in the operation. Included in the arrest were leader Gilberto Santana from Brooklyn NY, Captain Luis Hernandez from Miami FL, Affiliate Celina Hernandez, Affiliate Michael Rocca, Affiliate Jessica Ramirez, Affiliate Reinaldo Arroyo, Affiliate Samual Alvarado, Omari Tolbert, Edwin DeLeon, and many others, totaling 39.

Gambino crime family

Also, in Tampa, on October 16, 2006, four members of the Gambino crime family (Capo Ronald Trucchio, Terry Scaglione, Steven Catallono, Anthony Mucciarone and associate Kevin McMahon) were tried under RICO statutes, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Lucchese Crime Family

In the mid 1990s, prosecuting attorneys Gregory O’Connell and Charles Rose used RICO charges to bring down the Lucchese family within an 18-month period. Dismantling the Lucchese family had a profound financial impact on previously Mafia held businesses such as construction, garment, and garbage hauling. Here they dominated and extorted money through taxes, dues, and fees. An example of this extortion was through the garbage business. Hauling of garbage from the World Trade Center cost the building owners $1.2 million per year to be removed when the Mafia monopolized the business, as compared to $150,000 per year when competitive bids could be sought.[26]

Chicago Outfit

[citation needed]

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice‘s Operation Family Secrets indicted 15 Chicago Outfit (also known as the Outfit, the Chicago Mafia, the Chicago Mob, or The Organization) members and associates under RICO predicates. Five defendants were convicted of RICO violations and other crimes. Six plead guilty, two died before trial and one was too sick to be tried.

Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella

A federal grand jury in the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down a 48-count indictment against former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella.[27] The judges were charged with RICO after allegedly committing acts of wire fraud, mail fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and honest services fraud. The judges were accused of taking kickbacks for housing juveniles, that the judges convicted of mostly petty crimes, at a private detention center. The incident was dubbed by many local and national newspapers as the “Kids for cash scandal“.[28] On February 18, 2011, a federal jury found Michael Ciavarella guilty of racketeering because of his involvement in accepting illegal payments from Robert Mericle, the developer of PA Child Care, and Attorney Robert Powell, a co-owner of the facility. Ciavarella is facing 38 other counts in federal court.[29]

Scott W. Rothstein

Scott W. Rothstein is a disbarred lawyer and the former managing shareholder, chairman, and chief executive officer of the now-defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm. He was accused of funding his philanthropy, political contributions, law firm salaries, and an extravagant lifestyle with a massive 1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. On December 1, 2009, Rothstein turned himself in to federal authorities and was subsequently arrested on charges related to RICO.[30] Although his arraignment plea was not guilty, Rothstein cooperated with the government and reversed his plea to guilty of five federal crimes on January 27, 2010. Bond was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Rosenbaum, who ruled that due to his ability to forge documents, he was considered a flight risk.[31] On June 9, 2010, Rothstein received a 50-year prison sentence after a hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.[32]

AccessHealthSource

Eleven defendants were indicted on RICO charges for allegedly assisting AccessHealthSource, a local health care provider, in obtaining and maintaining lucrative contracts with local and state government entities in the city of El Paso, Texas, “through bribery of and kickbacks to elected officials or himself and others, extortion under color of authority, fraudulent schemes and artifices, false pretenses, promises and representations and deprivation of the right of citizens to the honest services of their elected local officials” (see indictment).[33]

FIFA

Fourteen defendants affiliated with FIFA were indicted under the RICO act on 47 counts for “racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.” The defendants include many current and former high-ranking officers of FIFA and its affiliate CONCACAF. The defendants had allegedly used the enterprise as a front to collect millions of dollars in bribes which may have influenced Russia and Qatar’s winning bids to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups respectively.[34]

Drummond Company

In 2015, the Drummond Company sued attorneys Terrence P. Collingsworth and William R. Scherer, the advocacy group International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates), and Dutch businessman Albert van Bilderbeek, one of the owners of Llanos Oil, accusing them of violating RICO by alleging that Drummond had worked alongside Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia to murder labor union leaders within proximity of their Colombian coal mines, which Drummond denies.[35]

International equivalents to RICO

The US RICO legislation has other equivalents in the rest of the world. In spite of Interpol having a standardized definition of RICO-like crimes, the interpretation and national implementation in legislation (and enforcement) widely varies. Most nations cooperate with the US on RICO enforcement only where their own related laws are specifically broken, but this is in line with the Interpol protocols for such matters.

By nation, alphabetically

Without other nations enforcing similar legislation to RICO many cross border RICO cases would not be possible. In the overall body of RICO cases that went to trial, at least 50% have had some non-US enforcement component to them. The offshoring of money away from the US finance system as part racketeering (and especially money laundering) is typically a major contributing factor to this.

However, other countries have laws that enable the government to seize property with unlawful origins. Mexico and Colombia both have specific laws that define the participation in criminal organizations as a separate crime,[36] and separate laws that allow the seizure of goods related with these crimes.[37] This latter provides a specific chapter titled “International Cooperation”, which instructs Mexican authorities to cooperate with foreign authorities with respect to organized crime assets within Mexico, and provides the framework by which Mexican authorities may politely request the cooperation of foreign authorities with respect to assets located outside of Mexico, in terms of any international instruments they may be party to.

Arguably, this may be construed as allowing the application of the RICO Act in Mexico, provided the relevant international agreements exist among Mexico and countries with RICO or RICO-equivalent provisions.

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

 

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