A civil RICO case cannot be based on underlying state law claims of theft by deception or tortious interference with contractual relations since they are not among the law’s enumerated “predicate acts,” a federal appeals court has ruled.

“If garden-variety state law crimes, torts and contract breaches were to constitute predicate acts of racketeering — along with mail and wire fraud — civil RICO law, which is already a behemoth, would swallow state civil and criminal law whole,” Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Edward R. Becker wrote.

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