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The Rico Act Has More Than On Use

1964 words - 8 pages

The RICO act has been very affective in halting the American Italian mafia’s strong hold in the country. It has also, been affecting those who are not considered gangsters, but have committed RICO violations in the country. Some of these people were some of the most trusted investors in the country and were able to steal or embezzle millions of dollars from citizens. Even though the full amount of money that was stolen is not usually returned to the investor, the RICO act gives the country an opportunity to imprison these violators for a very long time. Even though the RICO act was created to combat organized crime, it has been just as affective against non-mafia white collar criminals.
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These are people that are trusted with other people’s money in order to make more over time. When a person invests their hard earned money in a company they expect that the company is telling the truth about their financial situation. People have invested their entire life earnings in a company or an investor that illegally used the funds for their own personal gains. People have lost all their money because they trusted their investor or the company they invested in. The investors are not the only one’s affected by a company forging their company’s profit. The employees that have their pensions and their careers invested in the company are the ones who also, lose. One of the companies that employees were affected by the company forging balance sheets was Enron. Enron was an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas. Enron was one of the world's major electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper companies, with claimed revenues of over 100 billion dollars. Before Enron filled bankruptcy in early December of 2001 the company had forged their balance sheet. This led investors to believe that the company was very profitable and had a normal amount of debt for a company that large.
In 1997, Enron purchased a company called JEDI, and sold the stock to a seemingly separate company called Chewco. Chewco was a company run by an Enron officer and was created by Enron in order to hide the debt from the purchase of the JEDI. The reason for crating the creating Chewco was to keep the debt from purchasing JEDI off the balance sheet to make the value of the Enron increase. Enron was inflating their revenue number in order to have shareholders continue to invest in the company. These are RICO violations that include securities and wire fraud. Wire fraud is when a person schemes to defraud a person out of money. Enron did not release their balance sheet to Wall Street or to the large investors, but insured the public that they were doing better than ever. In February of 2001 the price of stock of Enron was at $75.09. By the time Enron filed for bankruptcy in December of 2001 the price of Enron stock was worth 26 cents. In 10 months the prices of the stock drop a total of 74 dollars and 83 cents. People that had believed that company were shock to find out that Enron had lying about their assets since 1997. The investors that stuck with the stock while it plummeted in hopes that it would raise back up lost their entire investment. If a person had invested in a hundred shares of Enron stock in the middle of 2001 at fifty dollars a share it would have cost five thousand dollars. If the investor had stay with the company’s stock they would have lost $4974 dollars over the course of six months. When the company had to pay repercussions in lawsuits for the money that investors had lost the largest shareholders were the first to be paid. A person that only held one hundred shares would be last to be paid if there was...

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