In an opinion Friday, Judge Schofield dismissed a RICO complaint alleging that “North Korean hackers stole $101 million from Plaintiff Bangladesh Bank’s New York Federal Reserve account and then transferred and dispersed the money to Defendants’ bank accounts and casinos in the Philippines.”
The central flaw was the lack of a “pattern” of racketeering activity, as opposed to one-off, more focused wrongdoing that would have to be pursued under legal theories other than RICO:
[The] malfeasors stole a single victim’s money from one location on a particular night and then dispersed the money to hide their tracks . . . .
That the money remains missing does not mean that Defendants would continue carrying out the crime. Indeed, money laundering by its nature involves moving money as far away as possible from the initial source and transferees to avoid discovery. The Complaint emphasizes the speed by which the funds passed through and out of Defendants’ hands. Plaintiff also argues that frustration of Defendants’ activities by the authorities does not mean there was no risk of future activities. But this argument assumes there was a risk. The Complaint does not provide any specific allegations of continuing or likely future activity by any Defendants.
Judge Schofield declined to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the other claims in the complaint, all of which arose under state law.