Courts have upheld an association-in-fact enterprise in which the RICO defendant or
“person” is a corporation and the enterprise consists of the defendant corporation and other members
who are under a contractual obligation with the defendant. See e.g., Hanrahan v. Britt, No. 94-4615,
1995 WL 422840, *7 (E.D. Pa. July 11, 1995) (concluding that Defendant Amway was distinct from
the alleged association-in-fact enterprise consisting of Amway and its network of Amway
distributors); In re: Countrywide Financial Corp. Mortg. Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation,
601 F. Supp.2d 1201, 1212-13 (S.D. Cal. 2009) (finding that Defendant Countrywide and its
organization of mortgage brokers with whom it contracted to sell loans issued by Countrywide
constituted a valid association-in-fact enterprise).
In Living Designs, Inc. v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours and Co., plaintiff alleged a RICO
enterprise consisting of manufacturer DuPont, the law firms it employed, and the expert witnesses
the law firm retained in defending numerous products liability actions. 431 F.3d 353, 361 (9th Cir.
2005). Plaintiffs alleged that the RICO “person” was defendant DuPont. Id. The Ninth Circuit
found that there was “no question” that DuPont and the law firms it employed to represent the
company in litigation could constitute an association-in-fact enterprise, and that enterprise was
wholly separate and distinct from the “person” DuPont. Id.
Similarly, in Williams v. Mohawk Indus., Inc., plaintiffs alleged an association-in-fact
enterprise between Defendant Mohawk and third-partyagents used to harbor undocumented workers
and to destroy documentation. 465 F.3d 1277, 1284 (11th Cir. 2006). The Eleventh Circuit found
that Mohawk and its agents formed a valid enterprise distinct from the person, Mohawk corporation.