Jesse Jackson Responds to 'Racketeering' Charges

By Marc Morano | July 7, 2008 | 8:28 PM EDT

( - Accused by a former business ally of "racketeering," Jesse Jackson has fired back by stating that "people who make statements like that are not dealing in reality."

The allegations were made by Harold Doley, one of America's wealthiest African-Americans. His comments were part of an exclusive report on Jackson's business activities.

Doley helped Jackson start the "Wall Street Project," which was intended to increase minority representation in corporate America. However, in the report, Doley said he became disillusioned with what he called Jackson's "shenanigans."

"What he was doing was a kind of RICO operation, both criminal and civil," Doley said, referring to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the federal law that prohibits, among other things, "the collection of an unlawful debt."

Jackson responded to a question about the "racketeering" allegation Thursday at a Rainbow/PUSH press conference in New York City. According to the New York Post, a shocked Jackson said, "I'm not sure what that means. That's illegal. People who make statements like that are not dealing with reality."

Doley told Friday he is not surprised by Jackson's reaction.

"Jesse Jackson uses the African-American community to leverage off of," he explained. "Bullies prevail for just so long and then they are revealed for what they are."

He believes Jackson should be investigated and "the Justice Department should take appropriate actions and not be concerned with the political fallout."

Doley added, "In America, no one should be above the law because of political influence."

Doley, who is chairman of a securities firm, became the first African-American to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1973.

Read Exclusive Report on Jackson

Part One: Jesse Jackson Accused of 'Racketeering' by Top Black Businessman

Part Two: Jesse Jackson Called the 'Godfather' of Shakedowns