Friday, September 14, 2012

Salinas v. United States case brief

Salinas v. United States
        1. Facts: The D is accused of a substantive RICO violation (1962(c))(accepting bribes from a prisoner) and a conspiracy to commit the above acts (1962(d)). He is found not guilty of the substantive offense, but guilty of the conspiracy, and appeals that decision.
        2. Issue: Whether a defendant can be guilty of a conspiracy offense under RICO if he did not commit or agree to commit two of the predicate acts necessary for a RICO prosecution
        3. The RICO conspiracy statute is much broader than the general federal conspiracy statute that requires at least one of the conspirators to have committed an act to effect the object of the conspiracy. The court holds that a conspiracy may exist even if a conspirator does not agree to commit or facilitate each and every part of the substantive offense… so long as they agree to pursue the same general criminal purpose then they are liable to the acts of their co-conspirators. Therefore in the present case, although Salinas may not have accepted any bribes, he knew that his partner was accepting bribes and Salinas agreed to facilitate the crime
        4. There is a split amongst the circuits whether to apply the Reves “operation and management” test to RICO conspiracy charges as well… one side argues that Reves only applies to substantive RICO offenses, while the opposing view is that unless Reves is applied to conspiracy RICO charges as well, then Reves becomes irrelevant.

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