In the case of Bungie vs. Elite Boss Tech (Docket #75, May 8, 2023), one of the defendants - Daniel Fagerberg Larsen - was just struck with a default judgment.

In the judgment, Mr. Larsen was found to be part of a group of three that programmed and distributed a piece of software.

A different member of the group, Mr. Nelson, did agree to various charges regarding his own activities in this enterprise and how the software operates, and that each download of the software they developed constitutes a DMCA violation. That member also agreed to a liability of about 13.5 million USD to Bungie, in favor of having many charges against him dropped.

Larsen however was apparently not part of the deal, and hit with a default judgment. Among others, he was thus found guilty of RICO.

However, here my understanding kind of derails: RICO is, in my understanding, to bring down criminal organizations, especially by making the masterminds liable for any other's actions, akin to a conspiracy. Yet, there were no other people involved anymore, those already had been discharged with that deal...

How come Mr. Larsen is the only one found guilty of (civil) RICO?

1 Answer 1


There has to be a criminal enterprise with multiple parties, but you don't have to actively litigate the case, or even sue, all of the parties to that criminal enterprise. For example, you don't have to also litigate actively with participants who are dead, judgment proof, or whom you have reached a settlement with.

Also, to be clear, one is "liable" for money damages in a civil RICO case, not "guilty" which is terminology reserved for criminal cases.

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