Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School G. Robert Blakey was commissioned to research the business practices of Amway aka Quikstar and it’s similarities to organized crime. Before he begins he defines the differences between organized crime enterprises, syndicates, and ventures. Many people use these as synonyms for each other while in reality each has a distinct meaning. Read it here.
“An organized crime “enterprise” is a criminal group that provides licit or illicit goods or services on a regular basis…An example would be a narcotics wholesaler and his cutting crew.”
“An organized crime “syndicate” is a criminal or related group that regulates relations between various “enterprises”. It may be metropolitan, regional, national, or international in scope. It may be concerned with only one field of endeavor or it may be concerned with a broad range of licit or illicit activities. A “syndicate” therefore is a cartel or business organization. It fixes prices for goods and services, allocates markets and territories, acts as a legislature and court, sets policy, handles disputes, levies “taxes”, and offers protection from both rival groups and legal prosecution.”
“A “venture” is a criminal episode usually engaged in for profit by a group. It may be the hijacking of a truck. Or the robbery of a bank.”
“It is organized crime when members of the “venture” have ties to a “syndicate“. This tie gives the “venture” access to superior criminal resources, including capital, skilled labor, outlets for stolen property, etc.”