Should the Department of Justice and Attorney Generals consider RICO charges against Johnson & Johnson Company / RWJF?J & J has made news recently for all the wrong reasons:
ADMITTING PUBLICLY they made “improper payments” in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
BEING SUED by the former head of their clinical trials in a whistleblowing lawsuit that alleges he was terminated because he raised safety concerns overdeaths and injuries caused by J & J products.
BEING FORCED to divulge internal emails over a less-than-forthright Internet-based marketing campaign undertaken to try to blunt negative talk about their products.
BEING ORDERED by a jury to pay $5 million in damages for the death of a one-year-old due to inadequate safety labeling on one of their most popular products.
FACING A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT in Canada for negligent testing and marketing of their heartburn product which resulted in the death of a 15-year-old girl, among others.
BEING SUED by the Attorney General of Texas for fraudulent dealing and improperly influencing a state employee to purchase more than $100 million of their product.
HAVING A LABORATORY REPORT COME OUT that reportedly uncovers a relatively high amount of undisclosed carcinogenic chemicals in their company’s flagship products: baby and kids’ body washes and shampoo.
However there is a new looming issue that authorities have yet to investigate.
The role that Nicoderm manufacturer Johnson & Johnson company's private Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RWJF has played in eliminating jobs and increasing unemployment rates across the country.
RWJF is the political division of Nicoderm manufacturer J & J. As such RWJF's role is to lobby lawmakers thru non-profit groups to implement legislation that puts Johnson & Johnson products in a government mandated, rent seeking, advantageous position.
Smoking bans are one of the prominent issues that RWJF openingly funds to bring about "legislative change". And as RWJF owns between 60 - 80 million shares of J & J stock, was founded by J & J founder, and currently has board members who were former executives or board members of the Johnson & Johnson Company, RWJF; along with J & J; profits from improper and unethical rent seeking legislation we know as smoking bans.
By itself outsiders might claim that banning tobacco use is a good thing.......however when you take a closer look at the actual effects of these laws you'll notice that thousands of business closings and tens of thousands of unemployed workers is the result. All so that Johnson & Johnson Company and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation can turn a quick profit. And sure enough just as they'd hoped Nicoderm and other alternative nicotine product sales have increased. Current projections by industry insiders speculate sales will reach $4.6 billion annually.
And let's remember what the provisions of the RICO Act state:
"...the statute is sufficiently broad to encompass ......activities relating to any enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce. Section 1961(10) of Title 18 provides that the Attorney General may designate any department or agency to conduct investigations authorized by the RICO statute and such department or agency may use the investigative provisions of the statute or the investigative power of such department or agency otherwise conferred by law....."
Other law sites offer the following definition:
Racketeering is the act of operating a business or scheme in order to make a profit, perpetrated by a structured group. It includes .... fraud against businesses or individuals. Governments can be victimized by racketeering......Racketeering also takes place among legitimate businesses or labor unions, where it is sometimes referred to as white-collar crime.
So Clearing the Air welcomes a new investigation into Johnson & Johnson and RWJF....this time into the organized efforts and activities that directly lead to significant nationwide economic harm.