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While the word “Rico” will forever remind me of the character from the book Starship Troopers, it is also the acronym for the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act of 1970. Designed to take a bite of organized crime, world-famous birther leader and anti-Obama crusader Orly Taitz has stated that RICO should be used against “All Newspapers” for their willful denial of coverage of her lawsuits.

While this web site has documented significant coverage of Orly Taitz and her antics in the media, any objective tabulation of the number of mentions for “Orly Taitz” and “Barack Obama” will show that Orly is not getting equal time. So what is this RICO statute and what does it have do with the anti-Obama movement?

While primarily a criminal prosecution tool, there is a civil lawsuit provision. If an individual can demonstrate that they were harmed by a RICO, they can collect treble (three times) damages. RICO is codified as Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States Code, 18 U.S.C. § 1961–1968. For a civil lawsuit, there must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise:

  1. Most courts have ruled that the only injury compensable under § 1962(a) is that resulting from a defendant’s investment of racketeering income.
  2. Most courts have required that the alleged injury to the plaintiff proximately result from the defendant’s acquisition of an interest in, or control over, an enterprise.
  3. Most civil RICO claims are filed under § 1962(c), which makes it unlawful to “conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct” of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. The key word here is “racketeering” which refers to an “illegal business”.
  4. Conspiracy to commit one of the previous 3.

[Thanks to for research information for this article.]

OK, now where exactly does “newspapers not covering Orly’s cases” fit? Generally, newspapers may print what the want, and it is not illegal for them to print one thing and not another. I think Orly would say that that the crime is “fraud”, but we would have the same problem relating “criminal fraud” to the newspapers as we do RICO. Unless Orly has  bought a newspaper company, I don’t think she gets in the door with a RICO suit.

And so as usual, birthers do not know what they are talking about.

Caution: I am not a lawyer.

11 Responses to RICO

  1. avatar
    Andrew A. Gill October 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    You know, things could be worse. You could associate it with the film Starship Troopers.

  2. avatar
    misha October 30, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    “I am not a lawyer.”

    I’m not a lawyer, but I play one on the Net.

  3. avatar
    Adrianinflorida October 31, 2009 at 5:22 am #

    So, what the RICO statutes say, is that If Orly ran a business, the damage she’ and her birthers’ have done to The President could be a RICO violation? 😉

  4. avatar
    brygenon October 31, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    RICO actions against Obama/The DNC/The Press are certain losers in court, but so are all other eligibility suits. For rallying the fan base and keeping the conspiracy theory alive, RICO has some major strengths. The same goes for “class action”.

    The complexity of such litigation offers cranks lots of opportunities to convince themselves they can win. Ironically, it also means that they couldn’t win even if they had a real case. Their lawyers don’t play at that level and United States Attorneys do.

  5. avatar
    John October 31, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Orly has been attacked heavily for working Charles Lincoln, a disbarred lawyer. It just occurred to me that Orly may be is being attacked unfairly on this issue. Does everyone remember that movie A Time to Kill? Well, it that movie Jake, the lead lawyer seeks advice from a disbarred Lawyer (Donald Southerland). The disbarred lawyer is even Jake’s mentor. Apparently, no one had problem in that movie. It’s just an interesting conincidence.

  6. avatar
    Welsh Dragon October 31, 2009 at 11:47 am #

    Earth to John!
    Earth to John!

    This is real life not a movie!

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 31, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    John: Orly has been attacked heavily for working [with] Charles Lincoln

    I do not think you will find this is true of articles appearing on this web site.

  8. avatar
    Lupin October 31, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    As a quick google search will show, Charles Edward Lincoln III was caught obtaining money from a client under false pretenses, for which he provided a false document purporting to be a receipt from the United States District Clerk for a non-existent escrow account.

    He did this to obtain the money of a poor, hard working cleaning lady. When he learned the Admissions Committee had initiated an investigation, he went to the house of said cleaning lady, instructed her not to tell that he had given her the receipt, and left a cashier’s check for $6,000. The checking account used to hold her money was already overdrawn. He acted willfully and without authority to deposit the cleaning lady’s funds in his personal checking account and to convert them to his personal use.

    Lincoln attempted to evade a $150,000 sanction through bankruptcy, then pleaded guilty to one felony count of a five count felony indictment regarding the use of a false SSN. As part of his plea agreement, Lincoln surrendered his Texas law license.

    I remember the character Lucien Wilbanks played by Donald Sutherland in the movie A TIME TO KILL, adapted from John Grisham’s book, and he was a long-time liberal activist, a once great civil rights lawyer, who was disbarred for violence on a picket line.

    He is to Charles Lincoln what Walter Cronkite is to Glenn Beck.

  9. avatar
    misha October 31, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I notice these birthers have a martyr complex.

  10. avatar
    JoZeppy October 31, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    Orly has been attacked for many things, and deservingly so. She is an incompetent lawyer (at least until she gets disbarred), who can’t follow the most simple of court procedures. She continues to waste tax payer money by filing frivolous suits, that anyone with two brain cells firing should realize that will fail on standing. She attacks the dignity of the court throwing the term “traitor” around indiscriminately, and she tries to influence the court by having her blind follows call the court. The fact that she associates with felons who stole from their clients is just one small reason in a long line of reasons to hold her in contempt.

  11. avatar
    milspec November 1, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    And the eyelashes have to go, I mean those are death penitently ugly