An interesting conclusion has come to a nearly decade-long legal inquest into the Mongols Motorcycle Club, as a US District Court jury in Santa Ana has found the outlaw biker gang guilt of racketeering and conspiracy.
The punishment that the jury has settled upon though is what caught our eye to this story, as the jury has decided to strip Mongols Nation of the intellectual property that the organization owns on behalf of the Mongols clubs.
This means that Mongols MC will no longer have control over its iconic logo, and according to prosecutors, it will empower police officers to confiscate the colors off any gang member they see wearing the black and white Mongols logo.
The court case causing the issue comes from a racketeering conviction of 77 gang members, which stemmed from a 2008 operation by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which infiltrated the gang with a number of agents, some of who became full-patch members.
The verdict is unique, as it is the first time that the courts have imposed the revocation of intellectual property from its owner as punishment for an unrelated crime.
The forfeiture of the Mongols logo still has to be approved by a federal judge, which isn’t certain to occur, but if approved it could set a very interesting legal precedent that is surely going to go through the appellate process.
As an alternative, a judge could stray from the jury’s recommended verdict, and instead impose financial penalties on the Mongol Nation organization, in addition to the criminal sentences its members will face.
From a legal perspective, the verdict will be an interesting note in criminal law and the possible expansion of the toolbox that federal prosecutors can use in criminal enterprise cases.
On the converse, there are some serious First Amendment and intellectual property claims to consider as well. Consider our interest piqued.
Source: AP News