Department Of Justice is Hiring a General Attorney (RICO)

Posted by on December 22, 2020 12:04 am
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Categories: David J. Harris NATIONAL HEADLINES

RICO stands for “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” which is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. 

On Monday the Department of Justice released the following press statement looking for a RICO laywer:

CRIMINAL DIVISION (CRM)ORGANIZED CRIME AND GANG SECTION ATTORNEY WASHINGTON, DC UNITED STATES 21-CRM-OCGS-016

About the Office: 

Consider joining the Department of Justice, Criminal Division. One of seven litigating divisions in the Department, the Criminal Division investigates and prosecutes complex criminal matters and assists the United States Attorney’s Offices in investigations, trials, and appeals. In addition to its direct litigation responsibilities, the Division formulates and implements criminal enforcement policy and provides advice and assistance in sensitive areas of law enforcement; advises the Attorney General, Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House on matters of criminal law; provides legal advice and assistance to federal prosecutors and investigative agencies; and provides leadership for coordinating international as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement matters.

The Organized Crime and Gang Section oversees the Department’s program to combat organized crime by investigating and prosecuting significant domestic and international organized crime groups in conjunction with Strike Force Units and U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country, and prosecuting Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO), Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) and violent crime cases against dangerous street gangs operating on regional and national levels.Job Description: 

The Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking a qualified, experienced attorney for a permanent position in the Organized Crime and Gang Section located in Washington, D.C. The incumbent independently directs, conducts, and monitors investigations, prepares and conducts trials, and advises on strategies and tactics relating to the prosecution of organized crime. As a General Attorney, the incumbent:

  • Partners with Assistant U.S. Attorneys (“AUSAs”) including Organized Crime Coordinators and Anti-Gang Coordinators, in the development and management of organized crime and gang prosecutions;
  • Gives advice and instructions to AUSAs on complicated questions of law and Departmental policy, including assistance in the drafting of charging instruments, motions, briefs, and jury instructions as requested;
  • Promotes, in collaboration with OCGS managers, the Section’s program to foster effective national investigation and prosecution of organized crime and violent gang crime, including giving advice on strategy and legal complexities, policy, and legislative recommendations;
  • Represents the interests of the Department of Justice by fostering communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies, as well as between United States Attorney’s Offices (USAOs); and
  • Serves as a subject matter expert, participating in, and/or providing advice on, activities related to the statutes and subject matter assigned to OCGS.

Qualifications: 

Required Qualifications: Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing. To qualify at the GS-15 grade level, applicants must have at least four (4) years post J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-14 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: composing pleadings, briefs and other court documents involving unique and/or difficult legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; conducting highly complex civil or criminal litigation; and/or defending or prosecuting criminal or civil RICO cases.Salary: The salary range for this position is $142,701 – $170,800 per annum, which includes locality pay. See OPM’s Web page at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2020/general-schedule/.Travel: Occasional travel may be required for this position.Application Process: 

The Application Package must be received by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

Please submit your application through USAJOBS. The list of required documents can be found in the USAJobs announcement.

  1. If you do not already have an account, please create a USAjobs account before applying Create an Account. You will be able to upload your resume and supporting documents and complete your profile prior to applying.
  2. Once you have an account, apply to the USAjobs vacancy: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/587771300.

Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.Application Deadline: Tuesday, January 19, 2021Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized.Number of Positions: 1Updated December 21, 2020

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department’s mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans’ preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans’ preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans’ preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the “point” system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

According to a Jan. 2020 Department of Justice press release, there was an update to their

It is unlawful for anyone employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt. 18 U.S.C.A. § 1962(c) (West 1984). The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) was passed by Congress with the declared purpose of seeking to eradicate organized crime in the United States. Russello v. United States, 464 U.S. 16, 26-27, 104 S. Ct. 296, 302-303, 78 L. Ed. 2d 17 (1983); United States v. Turkette, 452 U.S. 576, 589, 101 S. Ct. 2524, 2532, 69 L. Ed. 2d 246 (1981). A violation of Section 1962(c), requires (1) conduct (2) of an enterprise (3) through a pattern (4) of racketeering activity. Sedima, S.P.R.L. v. Imrex Co., 473 U.S. 479, 496, 105 S. Ct. 3275, 3285, 87 L. Ed. 2d 346 (1985).

A more expansive view holds that in order to be found guilty of violating the RICO statute, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that an enterprise existed; (2) that the enterprise affected interstate commerce; (3) that the defendant was associated with or employed by the enterprise; (4) that the defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity; and (5) that the defendant conducted or participated in the conduct of the enterprise through that pattern of racketeering activity through the commission of at least two acts of racketeering activity as set forth in the indictment. United States v. Phillips, 664 F. 2d 971, 1011 (5th Cir. Unit B Dec. 1981), cert. denied, 457 U.S. 1136, 102 S. Ct. 1265, 73 L. Ed. 2d 1354 (1982).

An “enterprise” is defined as including any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity. 18 U.S.C.A. §  1961(4) (West 1984). Many courts have noted that Congress mandated a liberal construction of the RICO statute in order to effectuate its remedial purposes by holding that the term “enterprise” has an expansive statutory definition. United States v. Delano, 825 F. Supp. 534, 538-39 (W.D.N.Y. 1993), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 55 F. 3d 720 (2d Cir. 1995), cases cited therein.

“Pattern of racketeering activity” requires at least two acts of racketeering activity committed within ten years of each other. 18 U.S.C.A. § 1961(5) (West 1984). Congress intended a fairly flexible concept of a pattern in mind. H.J., Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Tel. Co., 492 U.S. 229, 239, 109 S. Ct. 2893, 2900, 106 L. Ed. 2d 195 (1989). The government must show that the racketeering predicates are related, and that they amount to or pose a threat of continued criminal activity. Id. Racketeering predicates are related if they have the same or similar purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission, or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated events. Id. at 240, 109 S. Ct. at 2901; Ticor Title Ins. Co. v. Florida, 937 F. 2d 447, 450 (9th Cir. 1991). Furthermore, the degree in which these factors establish a pattern may depend on the degree of proximity, or any similarities in goals or methodology, or the number of repetitions. United States v. Indelicato, 865 F. 2d 1370, 1382 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 811, 110 S. Ct. 56, 107 L. Ed. 2d 24 (1989).

Continuity refers either to a closed period of repeated conduct, or to past conduct that by its nature projects into the future with a threat of repetition. H.J., Inc., 492 U.S. at 241-42, 109 S. Ct. at 2902. A party alleging a RICO violation may demonstrate continuity over a closed period by proving a series of related predicates extending over a substantial period of time. Id. Predicate acts extending over a few weeks or months and threatening no future criminal conduct do not satisfy this requirement as Congress was concerned with RICO in long-term criminal conduct. Id.

As to the continuity requirement, the government may show that the racketeering acts found to have been committed pose a threat of continued racketeering activity by proving: (1) that the acts are part of a long-term association that exists for criminal purposes, or (2) that they are a regular way of conducting the defendant’s ongoing legitimate business, or (3) that they are a regular way of conducting or participating in an ongoing and legitimate enterprise. Id.

When a RICO action is brought before continuity can be established, then liability depends on whether the threat of continuity is demonstrated. Id. However, Judge Scalia wrote in his concurring opinion that it would be absurd to say that “at least a few months of racketeering activity. . .is generally for free, as far as RICO is concerned.” Id. at 254, 109 S. Ct. at 2908. Therefore, if the predicate acts involve a distinct threat of long-term racketeering activity, either implicit or explicit, a RICO pattern is established. Id. at 242, 109 S. Ct. at 2902.

The RICO statute expressly states that it is unlawful for any person to conspire to violate any of the subsections of 18 U.S.C.A. § 1962. The government need not prove that the defendant agreed with every other conspirator, knew all of the other conspirators, or had full knowledge of all the details of the conspiracy. Delano, 825 F. Supp. at 542. All that must be shown is: (1) that the defendant agreed to commit the substantive racketeering offense through agreeing to participate in two racketeering acts; (2) that he knew the general status of the conspiracy; and (3) that he knew the conspiracy extended beyond his individual role. United States v. Rastelli, 870 F. 2d 822, 828 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 982, 110 S. Ct. 515, 107 L. Ed. 2d 516 (1989).

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