Friday, September 08, 2006

Wet Bank Guide: RICO for AllState?

Writing about this Times-Picayune article, Mark Folse ("Wet Bank Guide") asks:
Is there one remaining state or federal officials who is neither corrupt nor a vain careerist, one who is prepared to start treating the insurance industry for what is has become: a criminal, racketeering enterprise?

The definition of racketeering under the RICO statute is this:
(1) 'racketeering activity' means (A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year...' (emphasis mine)
If Allstate's announcement that owners must buy inflated cost car insurance from the company or have their homeowners insurance cancelled is not extortion, I don't know what is. I think the fact that Allstate's motivation is to try to cancel homeowners contrary to state law (in effect, using extortion as a means to circumvent state law) ought to be considered as well, to help demonstrate how the industry has devolved into a criminal enterprise.
I'll be adding "Wet Bank Guide" -- motto: "Remembering Katrina. Envisioning New Orleans." -- to the blog roll to the right.


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