Thursday, December 5, 2013

United States v. Bagaric case brief

United States v. Bagaric case brief summary
706 F.2d 42 (1983)

Defendants appealed the judgments of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that convicted them of violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), contending that the government failed to prove an economic dimension sufficient to bring them within the language and intention ofRICO, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1962.

Defendants were members of a Croatian terrorist group that perpetrated an international extortion scheme against moderate Croatians and supporters of the Yugoslavian government that resorted to multiple acts of violence against those not sympathetic to their cause. They were convicted of violations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO),18 U.S.C.S. §§ 1961, 1962(c), (d), from which they appealed.


  • The court affirmed, holding that the government was not required to prove an ultimate or overriding financial motive to secure a RICO conviction. 
  • The offenses RICO proscribed were mainly activities punishable irrespective of motives for performance. 
  • While mens rea had to be proved, there was no additional scienter requirement. 
  • The enterprise, for purposes ofRICO, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1962(4), was shown as a group of individuals associated in fact, and their economic purpose, pursuant to § 1962, could have been proved through either the enterprise or the proof of predicate acts. 
  • The individual defendants' claimed errors of prosecutorial misconduct, jury charges, sufficiency of the indictments, and failure to conduct separate trials, were without merit.
The court affirmed the judgment of conviction of defendants for violations of RICO, as the government was not required to prove an economic dimension to secure their convictions. The court further held that individual defendants' contention or error regarding prosecutorial misconduct, the sufficiency of the indictments, jury charges, and the refusal to separately try defendants, were without merit.

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