Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Ongoing Criminal Conduct Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Ongoing Criminal Conduct Charges in Iowa

The crime of Ongoing Criminal Conduct in Iowa is a serious one, and is defined in Iowa Code section 706A et. seq. as follows:


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Definitions of Ongoing Criminal Conduct in Iowa

1. “Criminal network” means any combination of persons engaging, for financial gain on a continuing basis, in conduct which is an indictable offense under the laws of this state regardless of whether such conduct is charged or indicted. As used in this subsection, persons combine if they collaborate or act in concert in carrying on or furthering the activities or purposes of a network even though such persons may not know each other’s identity, membership in the network changes from time to time, or one or more members of the network stand in a wholesaler-retailer, service provider, or other arm’s length relationship with others as to conduct in the furtherance of the financial goals of the network.

2. “Enterprise” includes any sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, trust, or other legal entity, or any unchartered union, association, or group of persons associated in fact although not a legal entity, and includes unlawful as well as lawful enterprises.


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3. “Proceeds” means property acquired or derived directly or indirectly from, produced through, realized through, or caused by an act or omission and includes any property of any kind.

4. “Property” means anything of value, and includes any interest in property, including any benefit, privilege, claim, or right with respect to anything of value, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, without reduction for expenses incurred for acquisition, maintenance, production, or any other purpose.

5. “Specified unlawful activity” means any act, including any preparatory or completed offense, committed for financial gain on a continuing basis, that is punishable as an indictable offense under the laws of the state in which it occurred and under the laws of this state.


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Violations of Ongoing Criminal Conduct in Iowa

1.Specified unlawful activity influenced enterprises.

a. It is unlawful for any person who has knowingly received any proceeds of specified unlawful activity to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of such proceeds in the acquisition of any interest in any enterprise or any real property, or in the establishment or operation of any enterprise.

b. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise or real property through specified unlawful activity.

c. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly conduct the affairs of any enterprise through specified unlawful activity or to knowingly participate, directly or indirectly, in any enterprise that the person knows is being conducted through specified unlawful activity.

d. It is unlawful for any person to conspire or attempt to violate or to solicit or facilitate the violations of the provisions of paragraph “a”, “b”, or “c”.

2.Facilitation of a criminal network.It is unlawful for a person acting with knowledge of the financial goals and criminal objectives of a criminal network to knowingly facilitate criminal objectives of the network by doing any of the following:

a. Engaging in violence or intimidation or inciting or inducing another to engage in violence or intimidation.

b. Inducing or attempting to induce a person believed to have been called or who may be called as a witness to unlawfully withhold any testimony, testify falsely, or absent themselves from any official proceeding to which the potential witness has been legally summoned.

c. Attempting by means of bribery, misrepresentation, intimidation, or force to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information or testimony relating to a violation of any criminal statute to a peace officer, magistrate, prosecutor, grand jury, or petit jury.

d. Injuring or damaging another person’s body or property because that person or any other person gave information or testimony to a peace officer, magistrate, prosecutor, or grand jury.

e. Attempting to suppress by an act of concealment, alteration, or destruction any physical evidence that might aid in the discovery, apprehension, prosecution, or conviction of any person.

f. Making any property available to a member of the criminal network.

g. Making any service other than legal services available to a member of the criminal network.

h. Inducing or committing any act or omission by a public servant in violation of the public servant’s official duty.

i. Obtaining any benefit for a member of a criminal network by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representation, promises, or material omissions.

j. Making a false sworn statement regarding a material issue, believing it to be false, or making any statement, believing it to be false, regarding a material issue to a public servant in connection with an application for any benefit, privilege, or license, or in connection with any official investigation or proceeding.

3.Money laundering.It is unlawful for a person to commit money laundering in violation of chapter 706B.

4.Acts of specified unlawful activity.It is unlawful for a person to commit specified unlawful activity as defined in section 706A.1.

5.Negligent empowerment of specified unlawful activity.

a. It is unlawful for a person to negligently allow property owned or controlled by the person or services provided by the person, other than legal services, to be used to facilitate specified unlawful activity, whether by entrustment, loan, rent, lease, bailment, or otherwise.

b. Damages for negligent empowerment of specified unlawful activity shall include all reasonably foreseeable damages proximately caused by the specified unlawful activity, including, in a case brought or intervened in by the state, the costs of investigation and criminal and civil litigation of the specified unlawful activity incurred by the government for the prosecution and defense of any person involved in the specified unlawful activity, and the imprisonment, probation, parole, or other expense reasonably necessary to detain, punish, and rehabilitate any person found guilty of the specified unlawful activity, except for the following:

(1) If the person empowering the specified unlawful activity acted only negligently and was without knowledge of the nature of the activity and could not reasonably have known of the unlawful nature of the activity or that it was likely to occur, damages shall be limited to the greater of the following:

(a) The cost of the investigation and litigation of the person’s own conduct plus the value of the property or service involved as of the time of its use to facilitate the specified unlawful activity.
(b) All reasonably foreseeable damages to any person, except any person responsible for the specified unlawful activity, and to the general economy and welfare of the state proximately caused by the person’s own conduct.

(2) If the property facilitating the specified unlawful activity was taken from the possession or control of the person without that person’s knowledge and against that person’s will in violation of the criminal law, damages shall be limited to reasonably foreseeable damages to any person, except persons responsible for the taking or the specified unlawful activity, and to the general economy and welfare of the state proximately caused by the person’s negligence, if any, in failing to prevent its taking.

(3) If the person was aware of the possibility that the property or service would be used to facilitate some form of specified unlawful activity and acted to prevent the unlawful use, damages shall be limited to reasonably foreseeable damages to any person, except any person responsible for the specified unlawful activity, and to the general economy and welfare of the state proximately caused by the person’s failure, if any, to act reasonably to prevent the unlawful use.

(4) The plaintiff shall carry the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the specified unlawful activity occurred and was facilitated by the property or services. The defendant shall have the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence as to circumstances constituting lack of negligence and on the limitations on damages in this subsection.

Criminal Penalty for Ongoing Criminal Conduct in Iowa

A person who violates section 706A.2, subsection 1, 2, or 4, commits a class “B” felony.  Class B felonies in Iowa are punishable by a 25 year prison sentence.  This, along with the civil penalties that can be imposed against those convicted of Ongoing Criminal Conduct in Iowa make it one of the more serious charges that a person can face.  Those accused of Ongoing Criminal Conduct are wise to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.


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