A Look at Racketeering and Corrupt Business Influence

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For this week’s blog we take a look at one of Indiana’s most comprehensive white collar crime charges.  Racketeering and the crime of Corrupt Business Influence govern much of the “white collar” crime in Indiana.  To understand this charge we must first start with the definition of racketeering.
The legislature explained racketeering when it legislatively define what “pattern of racketeering activity” means.  Per Indiana code,
“Pattern of racketeering activity” means engaging in at least two (2) incidents of racketeering activity that have the same or similar intent, result, accomplice, victim, or method of commission, or that are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics that are not isolated incidents. However, the incidents are a pattern of racketeering activity only if at least one (1) of the incidents occurred after August 31, 1980, and if the last of the incidents occurred within five (5) years after a prior incident of racketeering activity.
To be engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, the parties must be doing so while committing one of a listed number of crimes.  The crimes as defined are,
(1) A provision of IC 23-19, or of a rule or order issued under IC 23-19.
(2) A violation of IC 35-45-9.
(3) A violation of IC 35-47.
(4) A violation of IC 35-49-3.
(5) Murder (IC 35-42-1-1).
(6) Battery as a Class C felony before July 1, 2014, or a Level 5 felony after June 30, 2014 (IC 35-42-2-1).
(7) Kidnapping (IC 35-42-3-2).
(8) Human and sexual trafficking crimes (IC 35-42-3.5).
(9) Child exploitation (IC 35-42-4-4).
(10) Robbery (IC 35-42-5-1).
(11) Carjacking (IC 35-42-5-2) (repealed).
(12) Arson (IC 35-43-1-1).
(13) Burglary (IC 35-43-2-1).
(14) Theft (IC 35-43-4-2).
(15) Receiving stolen property (IC 35-43-4-2).
(16) Forgery (IC 35-43-5-2).
(17) Fraud (IC 35-43-5-4(1) through IC 35-43-5-4(10)).
(18) Bribery (IC 35-44.1-1-2).
(19) Official misconduct (IC 35-44.1-1-1).
(20) Conflict of interest (IC 35-44.1-1-4).
(21) Perjury (IC 35-44.1-2-1).
(22) Obstruction of justice (IC 35-44.1-2-2).
(23) Intimidation (IC 35-45-2-1).
(24) Promoting prostitution (IC 35-45-4-4).
(25) Professional gambling (IC 35-45-5-3).
(26) Maintaining a professional gambling site (IC 35-45-5-3.5(b)).
(27) Promoting professional gambling (IC 35-45-5-4).
(28) Dealing in or manufacturing cocaine or a narcotic drug (IC 35-48-4-1).
(29) Dealing in or manufacturing methamphetamine (IC 35-48-4-1.1).
(30) Dealing in a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-2).
(31) Dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-3).
(32) Dealing in a schedule V controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-4).
(33) Dealing in marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia, or a synthetic cannabinoid (IC 35-48-4-10).
(34) Money laundering (IC 35-45-15-5).
(35) A violation of IC 35-47.5-5.
(36) A violation of any of the following:
(A) IC 23-14-48-9.
(B) IC 30-2-9-7(b).
(C) IC 30-2-10-9(b).
(D) IC 30-2-13-38(f).
(37) Practice of law by a person who is not an attorney (IC 33-43-2-1).
When someone engages in this activity they may be charged with a C Felony Corrupt Business Influence.  (this will be modified to a Class 5 felony on July 1, 2014).  The charged of Corrupt Business Influence is defined as,
A person:
(1) Who has knowingly or intentionally received any proceeds directly or indirectly derived from a pattern of racketeering activity, and who uses or invests those proceeds or the proceeds derived from them to acquire an interest in property or to establish or to operate an enterprise;
(2) Who through a pattern of racketeering activity, knowingly or intentionally acquires or maintains, either directly or indirectly, an interest in or control of property or an enterprise; or
(3) Who is employed by or associated with an enterprise, and who knowingly or intentionally conducts or otherwise participates in the activities of that enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity;
commits corrupt business influence, a Class C felony.
These statutes are used to shutdown criminal enterprises that could include charging corporations or individuals involved in criminal business activity.  When corporation engage in inappropriate business practices that raise to the level of a crime and continue to do so over more than one occasion, they can be charged with this type of crime.
An example of this type of situation on a grand scale occurred out of Chicago.  Individuals from all over the country were stealing designer jeans and shipping them to a warehouse in Chicago, Illinois.  Other individuals were then selling these item on the street for a significant amount of profit.  This organization was stealing and selling millions of dollars in merchandise each year.  Through sophisticated technology and tracking, the entire enterprise was shut down and dozens of people faced charges similar to racketeering and corrupt business influence.
It is through this broad and comprehensive statute that Indiana combats this type of criminal activity.  The attorneys at Banks & Brower have the experience, knowledge and ability to help those that may face these types of charges.  Contact us today.