via United States mail. Paragraph 21 alleges that defendant
Schiller telephoned Davis on or about March 25, 1980, informing
him that his account was frozen and plaintiffs would only be
allowed to remove both sides of a "spread" transaction.
Pleading Fraud with Particularity
These paragraphs also demonstrate that defendants' further
objection that plaintiffs have not plead fraud with sufficient
particularity in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b), is without
merit. The paragraphs adequately allege the facts upon which
plaintiffs base their claim of fraud and set forth the facts with
sufficient particularity so as to allow defendants to frame a
responsive pleading. 5 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and
Procedure §§ 1297-1298 (1969). See Sutliff v. Donovan Companies,
Inc., 727 F.2d 648, 654 (7th Cir. 1984); Schact v. Brown,
711 F.2d 1343, 1352 n. 7 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1002, 104
S.Ct. 508, 78 L.Ed.2d 698 (1983). These paragraphs, alleging use
of the mails and wire in perpetration of the alleged fraud,
sufficiently describe the pattern of racketeering required by
Statute of Limitations Applicable to RICO
Defendants next claim that, even assuming plaintiffs have a
valid RICO claim, it is barred by the statute of limitations. The
RICO statute contains no specific limitations period.
Traditionally, where a federal statute contains no specific
statute of limitations, the federal courts have looked to the
most appropriate limitations period provided by state law.
Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, 421 U.S. 454, 95 S.Ct. 1716,
44 L.Ed.2d 295 (1975); Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 105 S.Ct.
1938, 85 L.Ed.2d 254 (1985). The Seventh Circuit has stated that
the applicable limitations period is that which a court of the
state where the federal court sits would apply had the action
been brought there. Beard v. Robinson, 563 F.2d 331, 334 (7th
Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 438 U.S. 907, 98 S.Ct. 3125, 57 L.Ed.2d
1149 (1978); see Burnett v. Grattan, 468 U.S. 42, 104 S.Ct. 2924,
82 L.Ed.2d 36 (1984).*fn3 State limitations periods will not be
applied, however, if their application would be inconsistent with
the policies underlying the federal cause of action. Movement For
Opportunity, Etc. v. General Motors, 622 F.2d 1235 (7th Cir.
1980). This final consideration emphasizes "the predominance of
the federal interest" in the borrowing process. Wilson v. Garcia,
471 U.S. 261, 105 S.Ct. 1938, 1943, 85 L.Ed.2d 254 (1985).
The parties have suggested three different limitations periods
to apply to this cause of action. Defendants argue that
plaintiffs' claim is based on a violation of the CEA and
therefore the CEA's statute of limitations must be applied. Since
the antifraud provisions of the CEA do not specify any limitation
period, defendants suggest that the Illinois three-year
limitations period governing securities actions, Ill.Rev.Stat.
ch. 121 1/2, § 137.13(D), is most analogous to the rights
asserted in plaintiffs' claim. Alternatively, defendants argue
that the two-year Illinois statute governing statutory penalties,
Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 110, § 13-202, should be applied. Defendants
reason that, since RICO provides for treble damages and such
damages are deemed a penalty under Illinois law, this two-year
limitations period would also be appropriate. Plaintiffs, on the
other hand, maintain that Illinois' five-year statute for
common-law fraud, Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 110, § 13-205, should govern
their RICO claim.
The various state limitations periods suggested by the parties
illustrate the difficulty in determining the proper limitations
period for a civil action under RICO.*fn4 RICO provides a federal
remedy in addition to existing state remedies, and proscribes a
broad range of conduct, thus rendering it difficult to
pidgeon-hole the statute into any one state limitations period.
Recently, in Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 105 S.Ct. 1938, 85
L.Ed.2d 254 (1985), the Supreme Court was confronted by an
analogous problem: determining a statute of limitations for
lawsuits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Like RICO, § 1983 provides a
federal forum for injuries resulting from a broad spectrum of
conduct, and "almost every . . . claim can be favorably
analogized to more than one of the ancient common-law forms of
action, each of which may be governed by a different statute of
limitations." Wilson at 1945. The Wilson court outlined its basic
considerations when determining the appropriate statute of
limitations for a § 1983 claim:
 We must first consider whether state law or
federal law governs characterization of [the] claim
for statute of limitation purposes. . . . [This] is
derived from the elements of the cause of action
and Congress' purpose in providing it. . . .
 If federal law applies, we must next decide
whether all § 1983 claims should be characterized
in the same way, or whether they should be
evaluated differently, depending on the varying
factual circumstances and legal theories presented
in each case. . . .
 Finally, we must characterize the essence of the
claim in the pending case, and decide which state
statute provides the most appropriate limiting
Wilson at 1943. The Court held that since the thrust of a § 1983
claim was a violation of federal constitutional rights, federal
law governed characterization of such claims for statute of
limitations purposes. Id. at 1944. Noting the uncertainty
engendered by this limitations issue, the Wilson Court held that
a uniform limitations period within each state was necessary to
promote the federal interests in "uniformity, certainty, and the
minimization of unnecessary litigation." Id. at 1947.
Accordingly, the Court held that § 1983 claims are best
analogized to personal injury actions, and the state limitations
periods for those actions should apply to all § 1983 claims. Id.