DeGuelle v. Camilli, No. 10-2172 (7th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
A tax employee of defendant, terminated after reporting an alleged tax fraud scheme to the company and federal enforcement agencies, filed suit asserting claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1962(c) and 1962(d). The district court dismissed, finding that the predicate acts alleged were either unrelated or did not proximately cause plaintiff's injuries. The Seventh Circuit reversed. The retaliatory actions were related to the alleged tax fraud scheme, under the Supreme Court's "continuity plus relationship" test. Since enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. 1513(e) retaliation against an employee constitutes racketeering. Retaliatory acts are inherently connected to the underlying wrongdoing exposed by the whistleblower, even though they occur after the coverup is exposed. In this case, the retaliatory acts were not isolated events, separate from the tax fraud. Plaintiff properly alleged that his termination was proximately caused by a RICO predicate act of retaliation.