Cedric Kushner Promotions, Ltd. v. King, 533 U.S. 158, 3 (2001)

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Opinion of the Court

ant Attorney General Keeney, Deputy Solicitor General Dreeben, Deborah Watson, and Frank J. Marine.

Peter E. Fleming, Jr., argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief was Michael C. Quinn.*

Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO or Act), 18 U. S. C. 1961 et seq., makes it "unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise . . . to conduct or participate . . . in the conduct of such enterprise's affairs" through the commission of two or more statutorily defined crimes—which RICO calls "a pattern of racketeering activity." 1962(c). The language suggests, and lower courts have held, that this provision foresees two separate entities, a "person" and a distinct "enterprise."

This case focuses upon a person who is the president and sole shareholder of a closely held corporation. The plaintiff claims that the president has conducted the corporation's affairs through the forbidden "pattern," though for present purposes it is conceded that, in doing so, he acted within the scope of his authority as the corporation's employee. In these circumstances, are there two entities, a "person" and a separate "enterprise"? Assuming, as we must given the posture of this case, that the allegations in the complaint are true, we conclude that the "person" and "enterprise" here are distinct and that the RICO provision applies.

Petitioner, Cedric Kushner Promotions, Ltd., is a corporation that promotes boxing matches. Petitioner sued Don King, the president and sole shareholder of Don King Productions, a corporation, claiming that King had conducted the boxing-related affairs of Don King Productions in part through a RICO "pattern," i. e., through the alleged commission of at least two instances of fraud and other RICO predi*Kevin P. Roddy and G. Robert Blakey filed a brief for the National Association of Securities and Commercial Law Attorneys as amicus curiae urging reversal.

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