Federal Conspiracy RICO - Part 3

Racketeering Conspiracy v. Racketeering

The major difference between Racketeering and Racketeering Conspiracy is that unlike in Racketeering, the Government is not required to prove that the alleged enterprise was actually established, but only that you along with others conspired or agreed to participate in an enterprise. In essence, Racketeering Conspiracy charges you with agreeing to commit the acts as enumerated in a Charged Count; which as described above, is a separate crime charged.

Moreover, the Government is not required to prove that the enterprise was actually engaged in or its activities actually affected interstate or foreign commerce. Rather, the Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants intended to participate in an enterprise that engaged in or the activities of which affected interstate or foreign commerce.

With regards to the Racketeering Acts charged, the Government is not required to prove that a defendant personally committed two Racketeering Acts, or that he agreed to personally commit two Racketeering Acts. Rather, the Government must prove that you agreed to participate in the enterprise with the knowledge and intent that at least one member of the racketeering conspiracy (which could be a defendant himself) would commit at least two Racketeering Acts in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise. These two acts need not be agreed to at the same time; they may be agreed to throughout the course of the conspiracy.

The jury will not be limited to considering only the specific Racketeering Acts alleged in the charged Count, the racketeering conspiracy count. Rather, they may also consider evidence presented of other Racketeering Acts committed or agreed to be committed by a co-conspirator in furtherance of the enterprise’s affairs, including Racketeering Acts in which a defendant is not named in the Indictment, to determine whether a defendant agreed that at least one member of the conspiracy would commit two or more Racketeering Acts. To establish the requisite conspiratorial agreement, the Government is not required to prove that each co-conspirator explicitly agreed with every other co-conspirator to commit the substantive racketeering offense, or knew all his fellow conspirators or was aware of all of the details of the conspiracy. Rather, to establish sufficient knowledge, it is only required that a defendant know the general nature and common purpose of the conspiracy and that the conspiracy extends beyond his individual role.

More simply put, in order to convict you on the RICO conspiracy offense, the jury must first find that the Government proved all four of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

First: that the enterprise alleged in the Indictment was established;

Second: that the enterprise was engaged in, or its activities affect, interstate or foreign commerce;

Third: that you were employed by, or associated with, the enterprise; and

Fourth: that you knowingly and willfully became a member of the conspiracy – that is to say that he knowingly and willfully conspired with at least one other person to participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.

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