McCullough v. Suter, No. 84-1516

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CUDAHY, POSNER, and FLAUM; POSNER
Citation757 F.2d 142
PartiesR.D. McCULLOUGH, II, and Utica National Bank, as trustee of the R.D. McCullough, II, Self Employed Retirement Plan, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Richard W. SUTER, d/b/a National Investment Publishing Company, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date13 March 1985
Docket NumberNo. 84-1516

Page 142

757 F.2d 142
53 USLW 2474
R.D. McCULLOUGH, II, and Utica National Bank, as trustee of
the R.D. McCullough, II, Self Employed Retirement
Plan, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
Richard W. SUTER, d/b/a National Investment Publishing
Company, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 84-1516.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Jan. 29, 1985.
Decided March 13, 1985.

Page 143

Gordon J. Arnett, Chicago, Ill., for defendant-appellant.

Charles L. Glick, Burke, Bosselman, Freivogel, Weaver, Glaves & Ryan, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiffs-appellees.

Before CUDAHY, POSNER, and FLAUM, Circuit Judges.

POSNER, Circuit Judge.

The question for decision--one of first impression so far as we are able to determine--is whether a sole proprietorship can be an "enterprise" with which its proprietor can be "associated" within the meaning of a provision of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970), 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1962(c), which makes it "unlawful for any person 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." There are no cases on the question and no pertinent legislative history.

Richard Suter, who under the name of the National Investment Publishing Company advises people about investments and buys coins for investment on their behalf, received $23,000 from the Utica National Bank to buy coins for R.D. McCullough's self-employed retirement account, which the bank manages. Suter represented that he used the money to buy coins, but he sent only three coins, together worth less than $10,000, to the bank, and the bank and McCullough brought this suit. Later Suter pleaded guilty to two counts of having used the mails to defraud coin investors such as the bank and McCullough, in violation of the federal mail-fraud statute. After a bench trial, the district court in this case found that Suter had defrauded the plaintiffs of $14,000, and awarded them treble their damages, plus attorney's fees, under the civil damages provision of the RICO statute, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1964(c).

There is no question that Suter's fraudulent activity constituted a pattern of racketeering activity as that term is defined in the statute, or that Suter conducted the affairs of the...

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94 practice notes
  • Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Boeing Co., No. 6:03-cv-796-Orl-28KRS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • April 23, 2004
    ...limited liability; and it is just this sort of legal shield for illegal activity that RICO tries to pierce." R.D. McCullough, II v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 144 (7th Cir.1985). Fictitious legal "distinctness," such as between an individual and his corporate self, is important to RICO distinctne......
  • U.S. v. Perholtz, Nos. 86-3032
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • March 8, 1988
    ...Huber, 603 F.2d 387, 394 (2d Cir.1979), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 927, 100 S.Ct. 1312, 63 L.Ed.2d 759 (1980); see also McCullough v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 143-44 (7th Cir.1985) ("we do not suppose that 'Murder Inc.' was really a corporation; and we cannot believe that Congress would have wanted......
  • U.S. v. London, No. 93-1898
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • May 4, 1995
    ...(as when there are people besides the proprietor working in the organization) separable from the individual. McCullough v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 144 (7th We therefore reject London's argument that he and the RICO enterprise alleged in the indictment are legally indistinguishable. 3. Nexus be......
  • 4 K&D Corp. v. Concierge Auctions, LLC, No. 13 Civ. 2527(JGK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • March 10, 2014
    ...requirement, so long as the sole proprietorship is not “strictly a one-man show.” Id. at 448–49 (quoting and citing McCullough v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 144 (7th Cir.1985)) (internal quotation marks omitted). 6. The plaintiffs allege in the alternative that there was a RICO “enterprise-in-fac......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
94 cases
  • Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Boeing Co., No. 6:03-cv-796-Orl-28KRS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • April 23, 2004
    ...limited liability; and it is just this sort of legal shield for illegal activity that RICO tries to pierce." R.D. McCullough, II v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 144 (7th Cir.1985). Fictitious legal "distinctness," such as between an individual and his corporate self, is important to RICO distinctne......
  • U.S. v. Perholtz, Nos. 86-3032
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • March 8, 1988
    ...Huber, 603 F.2d 387, 394 (2d Cir.1979), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 927, 100 S.Ct. 1312, 63 L.Ed.2d 759 (1980); see also McCullough v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 143-44 (7th Cir.1985) ("we do not suppose that 'Murder Inc.' was really a corporation; and we cannot believe that Congress would have wanted......
  • U.S. v. London, No. 93-1898
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • May 4, 1995
    ...(as when there are people besides the proprietor working in the organization) separable from the individual. McCullough v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 144 (7th We therefore reject London's argument that he and the RICO enterprise alleged in the indictment are legally indistinguishable. 3. Nexus be......
  • 4 K&D Corp. v. Concierge Auctions, LLC, No. 13 Civ. 2527(JGK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • March 10, 2014
    ...requirement, so long as the sole proprietorship is not “strictly a one-man show.” Id. at 448–49 (quoting and citing McCullough v. Suter, 757 F.2d 142, 144 (7th Cir.1985)) (internal quotation marks omitted). 6. The plaintiffs allege in the alternative that there was a RICO “enterprise-in-fac......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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