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Hoboken’s Data Theft Conspiracy Ring and The RICO question

Back in the 1980s, an up and coming prosecutor named Rudy Giuliani was looking to make a name for himself and later enter into New York City’s political fray.  Then the US Attorney from New York, Giuliani used RICO, the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to take down fraud in the securities industry, the most successful case being against Michael Milken at Drexel.

The expanded use of the original 1970 law was controversial but one couldn’t argue with the results.  Using RICO, the government was successful in a number of instances, ridding criminal enterprises from the Fulton Fish Market, the garment industry and taking down whole swaths of organized crime families in New York City.

How many hands were on the illicitly obtained data at City Hall?
Got RICO?

Originally written with the intent to take down the Mafia and organized crime, it’s use has expanded to Wall Street. The question arises does it apply to Hoboken and would it be effective in taking down the wide ranging criminal enterprise against City Hall and the people of Hoboken?

Here’s one definition on what determines a possible RICO prosecution:

The Law: Federal legislation enhancing the punishments for crimes committed as part of ongoing criminal organizations or enterprises. 

In any Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations prosecution, a pattern of racketeering is identified by two features: relatedness and continuity. Relatedness emerges in a series of criminal actions that have the same purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission. Continuity is established when a criminal act is repeated for a year or more. Before a RICO case can be made, it is necessary to prove that the individual crimes constituting the larger pattern of criminal activity were committed. 

Looking at Hoboken’s massive Data Theft Ring Conspiracy, the timeframe clearly qualifies since the looting was going on for more than a year since early 2010.  The FBI criminal complaint noted at the very end two municipal officials, one current and one former approached Patrick Ricciardi to gain confidential City information from the mayor’s office.

How did these municipal officials know to go to Patrick Ricciardi in the first place?  Who else knew and how widespread was this knowledge among the Old Guard?

If it was widespread based on the potentially numerous spokes coming from “the Hub,” the DTRC has all the earmarks qualifying for RICO as it certainly was a criminal enterprise.  It’s goal was the systematic looting of the mayor’s office to benefit the conspirators in a loose alliance with the people of Hoboken and the mayor and staff their victim.

MSV has had an internal debate on the matter for a while but it’s time to place it in the public domain.  Clearly the looting of all communications to and from the mayor’s office may be prosecuted under RICO should the US Attorney’s Office decide to take a longer list of suspects than the public knows and prosecute them as an entity like the Mafia.

RICO also has a victims provision.  In Hoboken’s case, there’s almost 50,000 of them.

The US Attorneys Office and the FBI have much to weigh and act upon.  They have a weapon at hand that should give members of the Old Guard pause.  If deployed, not only do they risk long jail terms, but their assets could be at risk as the investigation progresses beyond the Data Theft Conspiracy Ring.

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