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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Chad Chandler recruited Indian citizens between November 2000 and December 2002 to travel to the United States to work for his company, Falcon Steel Structures Inc. (Falcon Steel). To persuade the Indian plaintiffs to travel to the United States, Chandler allegedly made various misrepresentations regarding the terms of their employment and permanent-resident status. According to the plaintiffs’ suit, Chandler promised the plaintiffs full-time employment for at least two years at Falcon Steel. Chandler and Falcon Steel obtained H2-B visas for the plaintiffs, which the plaintiffs alleged bound them to Falcon Steel. Chandler and Falcon Steel (the defendants) arranged for the plaintiffs’ transportation from India to Houma, La. In return, each plaintiff paid Chandler between $7,000 and $20,000, often by obtaining loans in India at high interest rates. Upon arriving in the United States, the plaintiffs found that things were not as promised. Falcon Steel was not a manufacturing facility and had no jobs for them. The defendants allegedly confiscated the plaintiff’s passports and housed them in poor conditions with little food. Chandler threatened plaintiffs with punitive measures for complaining about the lack of employment or food. The plaintiffs further alleged that: they were limited in their ability to find other work because of their limited-purpose visas; the defendants threatened those who inquired about employment elsewhere with imprisonment and deportation; and the defendants skimmed the wages of plaintiffs who found other employment and assessed arbitrary fees to them. Chandler also demanded an additional $5,000 for the already-promised, permanent-resident status. Defendants continued their “unlawful scheme,” plaintiffs alleged, until plaintiffs filed suit in January 2004. The plaintiffs sued Chandler and Falcon Steel, alleging human trafficking, state law claims of breach of contract and fraudulent inducement and RICO violations. The alleged racketeering acts included money laundering, peonage, visa fraud, immigration violations, Travel Act violations and Hobbs Act extortion. As required by local rules, plaintiffs prepared a precisely worded RICO statement. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Concluding that the plaintiffs failed to show that the predicate acts posed a threat of continuing racketeering activity, the district court granted the motion, dismissed the RICO claim, and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ state-law claims. Plaintiffs appealed. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. RICO claims under 18 U.S.C. �1962, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated, involve a person who engages in a pattern of racketeering activity connected to the acquisition, establishment, conduct or control of an enterprise. The central issue in this appeal, the court stated, is whether the plaintiffs adequately pleaded a “pattern of racketeering activity.” “Racketeering activity,” the court stated, consists of two or more predicate criminal acts that are related and “amount to or pose a threat of continued criminal activity.” The district court, the court stated, assumed that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged the predicate acts constituting the alleged racketerering activity were related. Addressing the continuity prong, however, the district court found that the predicate acts did not pose a threat of continuing racketeering activity. The 5th Circuit addressed the continuity prong of the definition of “racketeering activity.” In 1989′s H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co., the U.S. Supreme Court held that “[c]ontinuity is both a closed- and open-ended concept, referring either to a closed period of repeated conduct, or past conduct that by its nature projects into the future with a threat of repetition.” The plaintiffs, the 5th Circuit stated, alleged open-ended continuity, which can be shown by demonstrating either that the predicate acts establish a “specific threat of repetition extending indefinitely into the future” or “that the predicates are a regular way of conducting the defendant’s ongoing legitimate business.” According to the 5th Circuit, the district court found that the plaintiffs’ RICO claim failed for lack of continuity, because the only adequately alleged predicate acts took place in the context of the plaintiffs’ recruitment and entry into the United States. The court reasoned that the defendants’ actions were part of a single transaction. The district court concluded that the predicate acts neither threatened long-term criminal activity nor constituted defendants’ regular way of conducting their business. But the 5th Circuit held that the district court erred in turning the Supreme Court’s explanation of the continuity prong into a stringent pleading requirement. Showing continuity may be done in a variety of ways, the court stated, thus making it difficult to formulate in the abstract any general test for continuity. The court, however, stated it could “begin to delineate the requirement.” Analysis of continuity, the court stated, depends on the specific facts of each case and cannot be fixed in advance with such clarity that it will always be apparent. Based on these standards, the court held that the plaintiffs sufficiently pleaded a continuity of racketeering activity or its threat. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants engaged in at least a two-year scheme involving repeated international travel to convince up to 200 or more Indian citizens to borrow thousands of dollars to travel to the United States only to find upon their arrival that things were not as they had been promised. Moreover, the allegations included not just plaintiffs’ recruitment in India but also their treatment in the United States. There were multiple victims, stated the court, which found no reason to believe that defendants would have ceased their scheme if not for the filing of the suit. Thus, the court held that the district court erred in granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss the RICO suit on the basis that defendants were not persons who engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity connected to the acquisition, establishment, conduct or control of an enterprise. The defendants also contend that the plaintiffs have failed to adequately allege violations of the RICO subsections. The court agreed that the plaintiffs’ complaint failed to allege violations of subsections (a) and (b), but adequately alleged violations of subsections (c) and (d). Section �1962(c) prohibits any ” ‘person employed by or associated with any enterprise’ from participating in or conducting the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.” The court also found that plaintiffs adequately alleged a violation of �1962(d), which prohibits conspiracies to violate the statute. OPINION:Jones, C.J.; Jones, C.J., and Wiener and Barksdale, J.J.

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