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United States v. Cianci

378 F.3d 71 (2004)

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United States v. Cianci

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

378 F.3d 71 (2004)

Facts

Vincent Cianci, Frank Corrente, and Richard Autiello (defendants) were indicted on numerous criminal counts arising from a pattern of racketeering activities, including extortion, public corruption, and bribery, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), and other federal criminal statutes. Cianci, not incidentally, was the mayor of the city of Providence, Rhode Island. Corrente was a city official, and Autiello was a Providence resident who was a member of a civic association. The indictments identified not only Cianci and other individuals but also the City of Providence itself and other municipal entities as members of the racketeering enterprise. The prosecution alleged that Cianci, Corrente, and Autiello operated the racketeering enterprise, using the city and its agencies, to illegally enrich themselves through bribery, extortion, and selling political favors and government jobs. At trial, the jury acquitted the men on a number of counts but convicted them on others, with the RICO charge resulting in a conviction for each of them. The men appealed the RICO conviction, claiming that the charge was based on a legal impossibility because municipal entities could not be considered members of a racketeering enterprise.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stahl, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Howard, J.)

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