Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



In 1970 Congress enacted the Organized Crime Control Act, Title IX of which is known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. Congress enacted the 1970 Act to "strengthen[]the legal tools in the evidence-gathering process, [to] establish[] new penal prohibitions, and [to] provid[e] enhanced sanctions and new remedies .,, RICO covers violence, the provision of illegal goods and services, corruption in labor or management relations, corruption in government, and commercial fraud. Congress found in 1970 that the sanctions and remedies available to combat these crimes under the law then in force were unnecessarily limited in scope and impact. Consequently, it provided a wide range of new criminal and civil sanctions to control these offenses, including imprisonment, forfeiture, injunctions,and treble damage relief for persons injured in their business or property by violations of the statute.' At the time, the President, the President's Commission on Crime and Administration of Justice, and the American Bar Association" called for the private civil remedies of RICO. In response, the Senate passed the Bill seventy-three to one.The House passed an amended Bill three hundred forty-one to twenty-six. The Senate passed the amended House Bill without objection,and the President signed the legislation on October 14, 1970.1"