The Statute Governing Corrupt Organizations Charges in Pennsylvania
You may contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers to learn your rights and options concerning any crime for “corrupt organizations” or any other charge. Below please find the actual text of the Pennsylvania statute governing Corrupt Organizations charges in Pennsylvania. This was current as of July 2010. Our Pittsburgh criminal defense law firm is primarily in the business of fighting for defendants’ rights; we are not in the business of updating websites, but wanted to at least give you some information for educational purposes, only. You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain to you the corruption-related crime, possible punishment, and all your options.
18 Pa.C.S.A. § 911. Corrupt organizations
(a) FINDINGS OF FACT.– The General Assembly finds that:
(1) organized crime is a highly sophisticated, diversified, and widespread phenomenon which annually drains billions of dollars from the national economy by various patterns of unlawful conduct including the illegal use of force, fraud, and corruption;
(2) organized crime exists on a large scale within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, engaging in the same patterns of unlawful conduct which characterize its activities nationally;
(3) the vast amounts of money and power accumulated by organized crime are increasingly used to infiltrate and corrupt legitimate businesses operating within the Commonwealth, together with all of the techniques of violence, intimidation, and other forms of unlawful conduct through which such money and power are derived;
(4) in furtherance of such infiltration and corruption, organized crime utilizes and applies to its unlawful purposes laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania conferring and relating to the privilege of engaging in various types of business and designed to insure that such businesses are conducted in furtherance of the public interest and the general economic welfare of the Commonwealth;
(5) such infiltration and corruption provide an outlet for illegally obtained capital, harm innocent investors, entrepreneurs, merchants and consumers, interfere with free competition, and thereby constitute a substantial danger to the economic and general welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and
(6) in order to successfully resist and eliminate this situation, it is necessary to provide new remedies and procedures.
(b) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.–
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity in which such person participated as a principal, to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of such income, or the proceeds of such income, in the acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of, any enterprise: Provided, however, That a purchase of securities on the open market for purposes of investment, and without the intention of controlling or participating in the control of the issuer, or of assisting another to do so, shall not be unlawful under this subsection if the securities of the issue held by the purchaser, the members of his immediate family, and his or their accomplices in any pattern of racketeering activity after such purchase, do not amount in the aggregate to 1% of the outstanding securities of any one class, and do not confer, either in law or in fact, the power to elect one or more directors of the issuer: Provided, further, That if, in any proceeding involving an alleged investment in violation of this subsection, it is established that over half of the defendant’s aggregate income for a period of two or more years immediately preceding such investment was derived from a pattern of racketeering activity, a rebuttable presumption shall arise that such investment included income derived from such pattern of racketeering activity.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person through a pattern of racketeering activity to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity.
(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to conspire to violate any of the provisions of subsections (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection.
(c) GRADING.– Whoever violates any provision of subsection (b) of this section is guilty of a felony of the first degree. A violation of this subsection shall be deemed to continue so long as the person who committed the violation continues to receive any benefit from the violation.
(d) CIVIL REMEDIES.–
(1) The several courts of common pleas, and the Commonwealth Court, shall have jurisdiction to prevent and restrain violations of subsection (b) of this section by issuing appropriate orders, including but not limited to:
(i) ordering any person to divest himself of any interest direct or indirect, in the enterprise; imposing reasonable restrictions on the future activities or investments of any person, including but not limited to, prohibiting any person from engaging in the same type of endeavor as the enterprise engaged in; and
(ii) making due provision for the rights of innocent persons, ordering the dissolution of the enterprise, ordering the denial, suspension or revocation of charters of domestic corporations, certificates of authority authorizing foreign corporations to do business within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, licenses, permits, or prior approval granted to any enterprise by any department or agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; or prohibiting the enterprise from engaging in any business.
(2) In any proceeding under this subsection, the court shall proceed as soon as practicable to the hearing and determination thereof. Pending final determination, the court may enter preliminary or special injunctions, or take such other actions, including the acceptance of satisfactory performance bonds, as it may deem proper.
(3) A final judgment or decree rendered in favor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in any criminal proceeding under this section shall estop the defendant from denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense in any subsequent civil proceeding under this subsection.
(4) Proceedings under this subsection, at pretrial, trial and appellate levels, shall be governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure and all other rules and procedures relating to civil actions, except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this section.
(1) The Attorney General shall have the power and duty to enforce the provisions of this section, including the authority to issue civil investigative demands pursuant to subsection (f), institute proceedings under subsection (d), and to take such actions as may be necessary to ascertain and investigate alleged violations of this section.
(2) The Attorney General and the district attorneys of the several counties shall have concurrent authority to institute criminal proceedings under the provisions of this section.
(3) Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to limit the regulatory or investigative authority of any department or agency of the Commonwealth whose functions might relate to persons, enterprises, or matters falling within the scope of this section.
(f) CIVIL INVESTIGATIVE DEMAND.–
(1) Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe that any person or enterprise may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material relevant to a racketeering investigation, he may issue in writing, and cause to be served upon such person or enterprise, a civil investigative demand requiring the production of such material for examination.
(2) Each such demand shall:
(i) state the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged racketeering violation which is under investigation, the provision of law applicable thereto and the connection between the documentary material demanded and the conduct under investigation;
(ii) describe the class or classes of documentary material to be produced thereunder with such definiteness and certainty as to permit such material to be fairly identified;
(iii) state that the demand is returnable forthwith or prescribe a return date which will provide a reasonable period of time within which the material so demanded may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying or reproduction;
(iv) identify a racketeering investigator to whom such material shall be made available; and
(v) contain the following statement printed conspicuously at the top of the demand: “You have the right to seek the assistance of any attorney and he may represent you in all phases of the racketeering investigation of which this civil investigative demand is a part.”
(3) No such demand shall:
(i) contain any requirement which would be held to be unreasonable if contained in a subpoena duces tecum issued by any court in connection with a grand jury investigation of such alleged racketeering violation; or
(ii) require the production of any documentary evidence which would be privileged from disclosure if demanded by a subpoena duces tecum issued by any court in connection with a grand jury investigation of such alleged racketeering violation.
(4) Service of any such demand or any petition filed under this subsection shall be made in the manner prescribed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure for service of writs and complaints.
(5) A verified return by the individual serving any such demand or petition setting forth the manner of such service shall be prima facie proof of such service. In the case of service by registered or certified mail, such return shall be accompanied by the return post office receipt of delivery of such demand.
(6)(i) Any party upon whom any demand issued under this subsection has been duly served shall make such material available for inspection and copying or reproduction to the racketeering investigator designated therein at the principal place of business of such party, or at such other place as such investigator and such party thereafter may agree or as the court may direct pursuant to this subsection, on the return date specified in such demand. Such party may upon agreement of the investigator substitute copies of all or any part of such material for the originals thereof.
(ii) The racketeering investigator to whom any documentary material is so delivered shall take physical possession thereof, and shall be responsible for the use made thereof and for its return pursuant to this subsection. The investigator may cause the preparation of such copies of such documentary material as may be required for official use. While in the possession of the investigator, no material so produced shall be available for examination, without the consent of the party who produced such material, by any individual other than the Attorney General or any racketeering investigator. Under such reasonable terms and conditions as the Attorney General shall prescribe, documentary material while in the possession of the investigator shall be available for examination by the party who produced such material or any duly authorized representatives of such party.
(iii) Upon completion of:
(A) the racketeering investigation for which any documentary material was produced under this subsection; and
(B) any case or proceeding arising from such investigation;
the investigator shall return to the party who produced such material all such material other than copies thereof made pursuant to this subsection which have not passed into the control of any court or grand jury through introduction into the record of such case or proceeding.
(iv) When any documentary material has been produced by any party under this subsection for use in any racketeering investigation, and no case or proceeding arising therefrom has been instituted within a reasonable time after completion of the examination and analysis of all evidence assembled in the course of such investigation, such party shall be entitled, upon written demand made upon the Attorney General, to the return of all documentary material, other than copies thereof made pursuant to this subsection, so produced by such party.
(7) Whenever any person or enterprise fails to comply with any civil investigative demand duly served upon him under this subsection or whenever satisfactory copying or reproduction of any such material cannot be done and such party refuses to surrender such material, the Attorney General may file, in the court of common pleas for any county in which such party resides or transacts business, and serve upon such party a petition for an order of such court for the enforcement of this subsection, except that if such person transacts business in more than one county such petition shall be filed in the county in which party maintains his or its principal place of business.
(8) Within 20 days after the service of any such demand upon any person or enterprise, or at any time before the return date specified in the demand, whichever period is shorter, such party may file, in the court of common pleas of the county within which such party resides or transacts business, and serve upon the Attorney General a petition for an order of such court modifying or setting aside such demand. The time allowed for compliance with the demand in whole or in part as deemed proper and ordered by the court shall not run during the pendency of such petition in the court. Such petition shall specify each ground upon which the petitioner relies in seeking such relief, and may be based upon any failure of such demand to comply with the provisions of this subsection or upon any constitutional or other legal right or privilege of such party.
(9) At any time during which the Attorney General is in custody or control of any documentary material delivered by any party in compliance with any such demand, such party may file, in the court of common pleas of the county within which such documentary material was delivered, and serve upon the Attorney General a petition for an order of such court requiring the performance of any duty imposed by this subsection.
(10) Whenever any petition is filed in any court of common pleas under this subsection, such court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter so presented, and, after a hearing at which all parties are represented, to enter such order or orders as may be required to carry into effect the provisions of this subsection.
(g) IMMUNITY.– Whenever any individual refuses, on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination, to comply with a civil investigative demand issued pursuant to subsection (f) or to testify or produce other information in any proceeding under subsection (d), the Attorney General may invoke the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. § 5947 (relating to immunity of witnesses).
(h) DEFINITIONS.– As used in this section:
(1) “RACKETEERING ACTIVITY” means all of the following:
(i) An act which is indictable under any of the following provisions of this title:
Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide)
Section 2706 (relating to terroristic threats)
Chapter 29 (relating to kidnapping)
Chapter 30 (relating to trafficking of persons)
Chapter 33 (relating to arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction)
Chapter 37 (relating to robbery)
Chapter 39 (relating to theft and related offenses)
Section 4108 (relating to commercial bribery and breach of duty to act disinterestedly)
Section 4109 (relating to rigging publicly exhibited contest)
Section 4117 (relating to insurance fraud)
Chapter 47 (relating to bribery and corrupt influence)
Chapter 49 (relating to falsification and intimidation)
Section 5111 (relating to dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities)
Section 5512 (relating to lotteries, etc.)
Section 5513 (relating to gambling devices, gambling, etc.)
Section 5514 (relating to pool selling and bookmaking)
Chapter 59 (relating to public indecency).
(ii) An offense indictable under section 13 of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (relating to the sale and dispensing of narcotic drugs).
(iii) A conspiracy to commit any of the offenses set forth in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (v).
(iv) The collection of any money or other property in full or partial satisfaction of a debt which arose as the result of the lending of money or other property at a rate of interest exceeding 25% per annum or the equivalent rate for a longer or shorter period, where not otherwise authorized by law.
(v) An offense indictable under 4 Pa.C.S. Pt. II (relating to gaming).
An act which otherwise would be considered racketeering activity by reason of the application of this paragraph, shall not be excluded from its application solely because the operative acts took place outside the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth, if such acts would have been in violation of the law of the jurisdiction in which they occurred.
(2) “PERSON” means any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property.
(3) “ENTERPRISE” means any individual, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity, engaged in commerce and includes legitimate as well as illegitimate entities and governmental entities.
(4) “PATTERN OF RACKETEERING ACTIVITY” refers to a course of conduct requiring two or more acts of racketeering activity one of which occurred after the effective date of this section.
(5) “RACKETEERING INVESTIGATOR” means an attorney, investigator or investigative body so designated in writing by the Attorney General and charged with the duty of enforcing or carrying into effect the provisions of this section.
(6) “RACKETEERING INVESTIGATION” means any inquiry conducted by any racketeering investigator for the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has been involved in any violation of this section or of any order, judgment, or decree of any court duly entered in any case or proceeding arising under this section.
(7) “DOCUMENTARY MATERIAL” means any book, paper, record, recording, tape, report, memorandum, written communication, or other document relating to the business affairs of any person or enterprise.
(8) “ORGANIZED CRIME” means any person or combination of persons engaging in or having the purpose of engaging in conduct which violates any provision of subsection (b) and also includes “ORGANIZED CRIME” as defined in section 5702 (relating to definitions).