Extraterritorial Application of RICO: Following Morrison v. National Australia Bank, the Second Circuit Holds that the RICO Law Does Not Apply To Conduct Primarily Involving Foreign Actors and Foreign Acts

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - September 29, 2010

In Norex Petroleum Ltd. v. Access Industries, Inc., No. 07-4553 (September 28, 2010), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (“RICO”) does not apply to “a widespread racketeering and money laundering scheme” that “primarily involves foreign actors and foreign acts.” In doing so, the Court held that “RICO is silent as to any extraterritorial application” and, thus, following the reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, 130 S. Ct. 2869 (2010), the RICO law has no extraterritorial application.