Pattern Requirement



Overview

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO or Act), Pub. L. 91-452, Title IX, 84 Stat. 941, as amended, 18 U. S. C. §§ 1961-1968 (1982 ed. and Supp. V), imposes criminal and civil liability upon those who engage in certain “prohibited activities.” Each prohibited activity is defined in 18 U. S. C. § 1962 to include, as one necessary element, proof either of “a pattern of racketeering activity” or of “collection of an unlawful debt.” “Racketeering activity” is defined in RICO to mean “any act or threat involving” specified state-law crimes, any “act” indictable under various specified federal statutes, and certain federal “offenses,” 18 U. S. C. § 1961(1) (1982 ed., Supp. V); but of the term “pattern” the statute says only that it “requires at least two acts of racketeering activity” within a 10-year period, 18 U. S. C. § 1961(5). We are called upon in this civil case to consider what conduct meets RICO’s pattern requirement.

General Definition of Pattern

Criminal conduct forms a pattern if it embraces criminal acts that 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. HJ Inc v. Northwesterns Bell 492 U.S. 229 (1989)

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