CA federal judge: No, Montel Williams is not “racketeering”

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Remember Montel Williams? It turns out he’s been in a bit of legal trouble in the Golden State due to his advertising on behalf of a payday lender.

But in a twist in the case, a federal judge based in Oakland has let Montel off the hook, determining that his marketing activity does not qualify as “racketeering” as alleged in the lawsuit.

Montel Williams: Not the new John Gotti

Here’s the dirt: Borrowers claimed that Montel and the lender coordinated to “defraud” them and sued under the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).

RICO has typically been used in going after organized criminal entities, including the mafia (infamous mafia “don” John Gotti was ultimately convicted under RICO).

However, members of the plaintiff bar have recently been pursuing RICO claims against financial services providers as part of class action lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled last week from an Oakland courtroom that borrowers and their lawyers suing Montel failed to show that he and the lender participated in coordinated activity to commit fraud, as required by the RICO statute.

Previously, Montel was cleared by the New York State Department of Financial Services of charges that he violated state law relating to financial services firms in the course of his spokesperson work for the lender, Money Mutual.

It’s good news for the former television personality who was in the news earlier this year after being hospitalized after an apparently super-hardcore workout at his gym.


Write A Comment