This case involves interpretation of the Racketeering Statute (RICO).
It is a matter of first impression in New Jersey.
Plaintiff has brought suit against Dun & Bradstreet (D & B), and a number of employees, alleging that they defrauded the plaintiff.
Each year, from 1980 through 1986, the plaintiff entered into two contracts with D & B whereby D & B agreed to furnish credit information to the plaintiff for a fee, which was based upon the number of "units" of information that the defendant was to furnish to the plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that each year the defendant, through its employees, misrepresented to the plaintiff the number of units it had utilized in the prior year, in order to thereby induce the plaintiff to sign a contract for additional units in the new contract year.
Plaintiff alleges that D & B's conduct constituted a "pattern of racketeering" falling within the RICO statute.
The plaintiff's amended complaint states:
Plaintiff has been damaged by this pattern of racketeering activity and by defendant, D & B's, use and reinvestment of the racketeering income in the continued operation of its business. (Paragraph 78). (Underscoring supplied).
The defendant, D & B, has moved to dismiss the RICO claim, contending that the plaintiff's allegations against D & B do not fall within the RICO statute.
The racketeering statute provides:
a. It shall be unlawful for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt in which he has participated as a principal within the meaning of N.J.S. 2C:2-6 to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of the income, or the proceeds of the income, in acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of any enterprise which is engaged in or the activities of which affect trade or commerce . . . .
b. It shall be unlawful for any person through a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise which is engaged in or activities of which affect trade or commerce.
c. It shall be unlawful for any person employed or associated with any enterprise engaged in or activities of which affect trade or commerce to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the enterprise's affairs through a ...