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Why Not RICO?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Watching the developing courageous and romantic story of two young people brave enough go undercover and discover the truth can distract us from seeing the obvious.

By following the unfolding story of ACORN, one has enough information to conclude that there is a pattern of bad conduct embedded in the culture of those who associate themselves with an organization that claims to be interested in the good of the community. They have cloaked themselves with the official documents of state corporation papers, and an extensive review by the Internal Revenue Service to enable nonprofit status.

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck

It is neither here nor there as to why the IRS has not investigated ACORN to determine if they are deserving of the special status that allows many people to make unlimited contributions and obtain tax deductions. Such an organization is required to file an IRS form “990” which is supposed to contain accurate information about the financial strength of the organization, along with other important data, such as officers and board members, and what these individuals are paid. The 990 should be available with a simple Google search to get us started on our inquiry.

Without looking, I can imagine the numbers have been “fudged,” along with the other various high crimes and misdemeanors that plague this organized crime, a wolf in community organization clothing.

I was an FBI Agent for 26 years and before my final posting at the White House, I enjoyed a rich career devoted to prosecution of organized crime. The federal laws were modified and strengthened in the years of Richard Nixon to enable the FBI to go after the Mafia. One tremendous new law, called Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organization, or RICO as it became known, allowed many new techniques of prosecution to be used to reign in what was believed to be an out of control criminal element in our society.

RICO worked. Over the course of decades, the use of the RICO laws dismantled most of the biggest Mafia families. Many of these insidious criminals went to jail, some for life. Among other tools, RICO made it possible to connect the leaders of Mafia families with crimes being committed at the street level. The idea was that the head of the family knew of the illegal activity and in fact promoted it, even if they did not attend every meeting where the conspiracy was set into motion.

Another new tool was the extension of the statute of limitations which allowed investigators and prosecutors to reach well back into previous years to bundle together a long list of crimes that would be charged against the soldiers and the heads of the families.

The punishments were quite creative and positive for the government. One of the greatest tools was the ability of the government to seize all the assets of the members of the corrupt organization if it could be shown that the assets were the result of the criminal activity. RICO was a grand success.

So much so, that before long RICO was being used to prosecute other groups who had nothing to do with the Italian or Sicilian mobs. Drug dealers, car theft rings, motorcycle gangs and purveyors of porn films and yes, even prostitution rings were also successfully prosecuted, their assets seized and their liberty forfeited in many thousands of cases.

Then, civil prosecutions using the RICO statutes were launched and eventually these laws were even directed against peaceful abortion clinic protectors to the dismay of many.

Federal and state investigators consider RICO cases to be their greatest goal, because severe punishments and far reaching investigations across state lines mean woe for any who are engaged in organized crimes, and the bucket of gold at the end of this investigative rainbow has enhanced many a government agency.

In other words, the government can get our tax dollars back.

So now comes ACORN with years of what appears to me to be seriously organized crime. They have been involved in voter fraud and I would guess it would not take too many interviews before the FBI could establish the conspiracy. They have also been involved in bank fraud, gaming the system in attempts to bring assets from the so called rich, to the so-called poor. I can imagine most of these ACORN employees think of themselves as real Robin Hood heroes.

And finally, they have been proven – with these new undercover tapes – gleefully willing to become involved with a conspiracy to evade state and federal taxes, surely a serious felony, conspiracy to provide safe havens for a prostitution ring – perhaps moving prostitutes across state lines, also a feloniousness activity.

To cap it off, they willingly and enthusiastically conspired to transport, house, and hide underage illegal female aliens for the purpose of prostitution. I cannot begin to count the number of state and federal laws that would be violated here. One can only imagine, but FBI Agents and federal prosecutors can know. One ACORN employee bragged she shot her annoying husband to death, after laying a foundation for her cover story by reporting to women’s shelters that she was being abused.

Could her actions amount to premeditated first degree murder?

The case against ACORN has swiftly moved from being a talk show host's ultimate dream to a serious investigation that may be best served through the use of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization statutes designed to nail those predators who are always with us, trying to bring down our culture to primitive animalistic levels.

Thank God we have laws for this sort of thing. Let's use them now.

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