What is the Crime of Corrupt Business Influence in Indiana?
Indiana has a criminal statute that goes by a weird name. The statute that is being filed with more regularity is the crime of corrupt business influence. The statute was designed to punish longstanding corrupt criminal business practices that didn’t fit into a different type of crime. The corrupt business influence statute reads as:
- (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 corruptbusiness influence, a Level 5 felony.
A key part of the corrupt business influence crime includes the prosecutor having to prove what is called a pattern of “racketeering activity.” A pattern of racketeering activity has also been defined by statute. It means engaging in at least two incidents or 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.
So basically a enterprise, meaning a business that commits a crime more than one time can be convicted of corrupt business influence. The crimes that qualify are many and include, murder, battery, kidnapping, human/sex trafficking, child exploitation, robbery, carjacking, arson, burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud, bribery, official misconduct, perjury, obstruction of justice, intimidation, prostitution, gambling, dealing in drugs, manufacturing drugs, money laundering, among other crimes.
If you are a person that is receiving funds or proceeds from this type of enterprise, have an ownership or control over this type of enterprise, or is employed by or associated with this type of enterprise and knowingly participate in the activities; then you can be charged with corrupt business influence. Corrupt business influence is a level 5 felony. Level 5 felonies in Indiana carry a penalty range of 1 to 6 years in prison.
There are a number of different scenarios that prosecutors will utilize this statute, but many times it is used to prosecute individuals who are using a business to defraud others. For example, a person who is conducting a business that defrauds people of their retirement money by creating fake investment schemes. Many times, someone that uses a business to conduct fraudulent or fake work to derive payment for something that was never done or never fully completed may get charged with this statute. Lastly, businesses that are being utilized to launder drug money can and will be prosecuted under this statute.
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The crime of corrupt business influence has become a more regularly charged crime because it encompasses so many different criminal activities and is an avenue to go after someone that may be trying to shield themselves behind a corporation. If you or a loved one has been charged with corrupt business influence, it is a complex area of law that definitely calls for the assistance of an experiences criminal defense attorney.
The Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers at Banks & Brower have defended individuals accused of corrupt business influence numerous times. Give us a call to see how we can help you 24 hours day 7 days a week at 317-870-0019.