Organized Crime Business Activities and Their Implications for Law Enforcement, 1986-1987 (ICPSR 9476)

Published: Feb 17, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
Herbert Edelhertz; Thomas D. Overcast

Version V1

This project was undertaken to investigate organized criminal groups and the types of business activities in which they engage. The focus (unit of analysis) was on the organized groups rather than their individual members. The project assessed the needs of these groups in pursuing their goals and considered the operations used to implement or carry out their activities. The data collected address some of the following issues: (1) Are business operations (including daily operations, acquiring ownership, and structuring the organization) of organized criminal groups conducted in a manner paralleling legitimate business ventures? (2) Should investigating and prosecuting white-collar crime be a central way of proceeding against organized criminal groups? (3) What are the characteristics of the illegal activities of organized criminal groups? (4) In what ways are legal activities used by organized criminal groups to pursue income from illegal activities? (5) What is the purpose of involvement in legal activities for organized criminal groups? (6) What services are used by organized criminal groups to implement their activities? Variables include information on the offense actually charged against the criminal organization in the indictments or complaints, other illegal activities participated in by the organization, and the judgments against the organization requested by law enforcement agencies. These judgments fall into several categories: monetary relief (such as payment of costs of investigation and recovery of stolen or misappropriated funds), equitable relief (such as placing the business in receivership or establishment of a victim fund), restraints on actions (such as prohibiting participation in labor union activities or further criminal involvement), and forfeitures (such as forfeiting assets in pension funds or bank accounts). Other variables include the organization's participation in business-type activities--both illegal and legal, the organization's purpose for providing legal goods and services, the objectives of the organization, the market for the illegal goods and services provided by the organization, the organization's assets, the business services it requires, how it financially provides for its members, the methods it uses to acquire ownership, indicators of its ownership, and the nature of its victims.

Edelhertz, Herbert, and Overcast, Thomas D. Organized Crime Business Activities and Their Implications for Law Enforcement, 1986-1987. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-17.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (87-IJ-CX-0053)

1986 -- 1987

1986-01-01 -- 1987-12-31

Purposeful (rather than random) sampling.

Organized criminal groups within the United States.

criminal indictments, civil complaints, and other public records data

administrative records data




  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.