District Court Concludes that Defendants’ Emigration to US with Allegedly Stolen Funds Cannot Establish a US “Domestic Injury” to Support Private RICO Claim

The World in U.S. Courts: Winter 2016 - Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

Xiaomei Li v. Hanqing Sun, US District Court for the Northern District of California, December 12, 2016

In its 2016 decision in RJR Nabisco v. European Community, the Supreme Court held that a private claim under RICO must allege a US “domestic injury.”  In this case, as the District Court in California explained, the plaintiff “is a citizen of China, residing in China, who dealt with defendants in China, and who allegedly was defrauded by defendants in China.”  The only alleged connection to the US was that the defendants moved to the US carrying with them cash allegedly stolen from the plaintiff in China.  The Court held that such after-the-fact travel could not support a claim that the plaintiff had suffered an injury in the US.

[Editor’s note:  The “domestic injury” requirement for a private right of action under RICO was recently the subject of an article by editors of The World in US Courts, which may be found here.]

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