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United States v. Mongol Nation
United States District Court for the Central District of California
370 F. Supp. 3d 1090 (2019)
The motorcycle club Mongol Nation (defendant) was an unincorporated association. The Mongol Nation and its members used certain words and images on clothing and other items to signify membership in the group. Some of these signifiers were registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as collective membership marks. The Mongol Nation was convicted by a jury in federal district court of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The jury also found that property belonging to the Mongol Nation was subject to criminal forfeiture. The property found to be subject to forfeiture included the rights associated with the collective membership marks, personal items bearing the marks, and weapons and armor that was entered into evidence by the government (plaintiff) during trial. The government moved for an order instructing the Mongol Nation to forfeit the identified property. The Mongol Nation filed posttrial motions with the district court challenging its conviction under RICO, arguing that it could not be held liable for its members’ racketeering acts that made up the basis of the RICO claims. The government argued that the Mongol Nation directed its members to undertake these acts through conduct including awarding patches to members for committing crimes.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Carter, J.)
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