With $4 billion in annual revenue, Laureate Education is America’s largest for-profit college company. From 2010 until just days before the 2015 release of Clinton Cash, Bill Clinton served as Laureate’s “honorary chancellor.” When the Clinton campaign team obtained a copy of the book and its Clinton-Laureate connection revelation, Bill Clinton abruptly resigned.
Laureate’s chairman and longtime Clinton crony, Douglas Becker, is also the chairman of a nonprofit sister organization called the International Youth Foundation (IYF). Indeed, IYF’s offices are less than a mile from Laureate’s in Baltimore. Shortly after Laureate made Bill Clinton its honorary chancellor in April 2010, Hillary Clinton made Laureate part of her State Department Global Partnership. IYF received USAID funds before Hillary’s tenure at the State Dept. But the grants the group received exploded after Bill Clinton was put on the Laureate payroll.
According to a Bloomberg analysis of the Clinton Cash revelation: “In 2009, the year before Bill Clinton joined Laureate, the nonprofit received 11 grants worth $9 million from the State Department or the affiliated USAID. In 2010, the group received 14 grants worth $15.1 million. In 2011, 13 grants added up to $14.6 million. The following year, those numbers jumped: IYF received 21 grants worth $25.5 million, including a direct grant from the State Department.”
As the leader of the embattled for-profit college industry, Laureate has come under fire and been investigated for its practices in monetizing education, reports the Washington Post. Still, Clinton proudly championed the group that paid him over $16 million and allowed his image to be plastered all over Laureate’s $200 million annual marketing materials, even as Hillary Clinton pumped tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to Laureate’s sister group.
In the United States, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a federal law that was enacted to give extended penalties in the prosecution of organized criminal acts. The RICO Act is codified as Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which deals with federal crimes and criminal procedure. Although it was intended to be used against the Mafia and others engaged in organized crime, the RICO Act has been used to prosecute all sorts of criminal activity.
The RICO Act was created as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. As a product of two sets of Congressional hearings that took place in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the act’s main focus was on measures that would be prohibitive to gambling organizations. Sponsored by Senator John Little McClellan and drafted by G. Robert Blakey, the Rico Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on 15 October 1970.
Crimes and Punishments
Under the RICO Act, a person can be charged with racketeering — which includes bribery, extortion, illegal drug sales, loan sharking, murder and prostitution — if he or she has committed two of the 27 federal and eight state crimes under U.S. legislation within a 10-year period. The law gives the government the power to criminally prosecute and imprison an organized crime leader even if he or she has never personally committed any of the components of racketeering. This is because he or she is part of a criminal enterprise.
RICO sets criminal penalties for racketeering activity. Convicted persons are fined or sentenced to prison for as long as 20 years. In some cases, however, the defendant can receive a life sentence. This can occur when the violation is based on a crime for which the maximum penalty includes life imprisonment.
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