Venable partner Ed Wilson was interviewed in a July 11, 2016 Thomson Reuters article on the Supreme Court's decision RJR Nabisco, Inc., v. European Community. In its ruling, the Court upheld the broad use of anti-money laundering (AML) rules by U.S. authorities to pursue individuals and firms under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
"They [U.S. authorities] have shown they feel comfortable using it in an international setting," said Wilson. "It [the case] means that AML can be a predicate offense for a RICO claim outside the U.S. and in that respect, it confirms the broadness of the U.S. government's use of AML to go after someone, whether entity or individual, outside of the U.S. In fact, the anti-money laundering laws are one of a U.S. prosecutor’s favorite tools. Not just prosecutors, but also bank regulators such as the Federal Reserve, and securities regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, are very comfortable using the AML laws domestically and internationally."
Wilson predicted that down the road, international institutions and corporations should expect more RICO litigation in the context of what constitutes a domestic injury. "So, when bad acts occur abroad and one of those acts is or, as importantly, may be characterized as money laundering, a U.S. jurisdictional basis exists. Moving forward, we will see an increase in the use of AML in the RICO world by the government in criminal cases," Wilson added.