What is RICO and what does it stand for?

David the Defendant was alleged to have been in a local gang, and a major drug supplier involved in drug trafficking, who owned houses where drug trafficking took place. David was charged with one count of participating in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) (Count 1) (the “substantive RICO violation”), and one count of conspiracy to commit a substantive RICO violation under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) (Count 2) (“RICO conspiracy”).  RICO provides that “[i]t shall be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity….” An “enterprise,” in turn, “includes any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity.” The Judge read the following instruction to the jury: “Unlike the charge in Count 1 [the substantive violation under § 1962(c)], the government need not prove a defendant actually committed two racketeering acts, nor that the objectives or purposes of the conspiracy, whatever they may have been, have been achieved or accomplished, nor that the alleged enterprise was actually established, that the defendant was actually employed by or associated with the enterprise, or that the enterprise was actually engaged in, or its activities actually affected, interstate or foreign commerce. The essential nature of Count 2 is the conspiratorial agreement; the ultimate success or failure of the conspiracy is irrelevant.” David’ lawyer objected and argued the government must prove in Count 2 that David was a member of an “enterprise” and failure to do so would violate his constitutional rights. In completing the assignment, please answer the following questions in a 2-3 page paper: What is RICO and what does it stand for? Will David be successful in requiring the government to prove he was a member of an “enterprise?” Why or why not?  For more help on this question see: United States v. Harris, 695 F.3d 1125, 1134-35 (10th Cir. 2012)

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