The cold, hard words in judicial transcripts and on judge’s orders say that Patricia Cohen’s allegations that screwing your wife over in a divorce is equivalent to running La Cosa Nostra or a drug cartel isn’t much of a legal theory. Which is not to say that she’s given up; far from it. And why should she? RICO claims in a divorce may be a dead letter, legally speaking, but a half-dozen other embittered spouses think it may be good for putting the fear of God into the Steve Cohens of the world.
A judge tossed the civil RICO charge last year — but that hasn’t stopped at least six more New York and New Jersey women from using the statute in a similar way….
“If someone develops a niche to pull off all these cases in federal court, the federal court is going to get swamped with all these RICO cases,” predicted divorce lawyer Martha Cohen Stine.
One of the cases is a $200 million suit filed by Rachel Alintoff, who says state judges favor “men with deep pockets and big law firms.”