chapter  1
25 Pages

Introduction: The Business of Organized Crime

The involvement of organized criminals in businesses large and small has been noted time and again. On the New York waterfront, organized crime’s control of the port was manifested through its control of the International Longshoremen’s Association, several score private businesses, and the major shipping and stevedore companies. In the early 1970s, one of the more surprising discussions about the association of organized crime and legitimate businesses occurred when a sports conglomerate known as Emprise Corporation came under scrutiny. Organized criminal activities are overwhelmingly embedded in enterprises. The success of organized criminals is contingent upon many factors. Constant scheming is one of the least “appreciated” characteristics of organized criminals, who exist in a world of daily criminal opportunities. A great deal of criminal opportunity undermines the stability of hierarchies, which leads to ceaseless disputes over rackets and territories. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.