Torts Keyed to Prosser
De Falco v. Bernas
Plaintiffs bought and proposed to develop land in a township in NY, and named Defendants were a group of public officials and private individuals who were either part of, or influenced, the local government of the township. Defendants threatened and intimidated Plaintiffs after they purchased the property, to compel them to give over the property and employ certain individuals in exchange for development approvals. Specifically, Defendant Dirie was Supervisor of the town and member of the town legislature, and he offered to help Plaintiff De Falco through the “muddy waters” of real estate development in the town so long as he followed Dirie’s suggestions. Defendant Bernas was involved in road construction and extracted gravel from Plaintiff’s property and demanded a transfer of shares in the business of Plaintiff. Plaintiffs brought a RICO suit under 18 U.S.C. §1962(c) claiming Defendants operated the town as a RICO enterprise (claiming conspiracy, plan and scheme to use the town as a racketeering enterprise to extort money, real property and personal property through misuse of public office in violation of the statute).
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