Recently, several homeowners have mentioned that they feel that our Service Corporation Board operates more as the Mob than a group of elected officials. I guess the question becomes; Who is the Godfather? (or Godmother?- we do believe in being politically correct!)
While this publication offers no opinion with regards to this interpretation, we do believe that it leads to great debate. After researching the Federal Rico Act, one might further wonder if there is a similarity regarding the "Modus Operandi" of the Mob and Service Corporation.
Can you imagine Don Corleone as a Board Member! Read below;
"This is beautiful, I understand. You found paradise in the Shores. You had a good trade, made a good living, the police protected you and there were courts of law and you didn't need a friend like me. But, now you come to the Service Corp. Board and you say "Don Corleone, give me homeowner rights." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you disrupt my meeting and demand respect on the day my daughter's to be married and you ask me to be fair to the community and not spend your money! The day will come when I call upon you to do a service for me. Until then, shut your mouth or I can't guarantee your safety".
Below is a condensed legal interpretation of the Rico Act and why it was created. Use your own imagination and draw your own conclusions. Be careful with whom you share your opinions and watch out for a horse head placed in your bed!!
THE RICO ACT
Although the RICO Act can be used in many contexts, the statute is most easily understood in its intended context: the Mafia. In the context of the Mafia, the defendant person (i.e., the target of the RICO Act) is the Godfather. The "racketeering activity" is the criminal activities in which the Mafia engages, e.g., extortion, bribery, loan sharking, murder, illegal drug sales, prostitution, etc. Because the Mafia family has engaged in these criminal actions for generations, the criminal actions constitute a pattern of racketeering activity.
The government can criminally prosecute the Godfather under RICO and send him to jail even if the Godfather has never personally killed, extorted, bribed or engaged in any criminal behavior. The Godfather can be imprisoned because he operated and managed a criminal enterprise that engaged in such acts. Moreover, under section 1964(c) of the RICO Act, the victims of the Mafia family (i.e., the extorted businessman, the employers whose employees were bribed, debtors of the loan shark, the family of a murder victim) can sue the Godfather civilly and recover the economic losses they sustained by reason of the Mafia family's pattern of racketeering.
As a practical matter, the closer a plaintiff's case is to the Mafia scenario described above, the better chance the plaintiff has in succeeding under the RICO Act. Given the diverse factual scenarios that may confront attorneys and parties under RICO, it is always helpful to analogize non-Mafia factual scenarios to the prototypical RICO claim against the Mafia. It is always helpful to ask: who stands in the position of the Godfather, i.e., the defendant person? What is the equivalent of the Mafia family, i.e., the enterprise? This will give you a good start in evaluating the merits of any RICO claim you confront. If the facts are well-suited to the Mafia analogy, you likely have a stronger claim.