Early Saturday evening, Iowa Police Officers executed a search warrant against DavidWeigel. Weigel, an Iowa Department of Transportation employee, is accused of stealing more than $407,430 from the State of Iowa. Officers allege that for the last 14 years, Weigel sold different portions of Iowa Department of Transportation land, and then kept a portion of the funds, totaling more than $407,430. As a result, Weigel is charged with first-degree theft, conspiracy to commit theft, on-going criminal conduct, money laundering, and felonious misconduct in office.
On Saturday, April 20, 2013, Officers searched four locations within Story, Polk, and Woodbury counties for evidence of Weigel’s money laundering. During the search, officers seized two rare vehicles: a 40-50-year-old Rolls Royce in mint condition, and a Model A in excellent condition as well.
Under Iowa law, Weigel’s vehicles were may have been validly taken, and may never be returned for a few reasons. First, officers are allowed to seize proceeds from illegal conduct, whether those proceeds be money or property. Law enforcement is also allowed to seize money or property which is used to facilitate illegal conduct. In addition, items seized may never be returned if prosecutors decide to forfeit them. To be successful in forfeiting cash and property prosecutors must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the items were the proceeds of illegal conduct or used to facilitate illegal conduct. Under Iowa law, once the items are forfeited, then State of Iowa owns the items and can use them anyway it likes. This is common in drug prosecutions, where a defendant has a large sum of cash in his or her possession.
While the seizing of Weigel’s prized Rolls Royce may be the most salacious part of the story thus far, it is probably the least of Weigel’s worries. Weigel is charged with multiple felonies including a class B felony (ongoing criminal conduct) which carries a 25 year prison sentence, and a class C felony (first-degree theft) which carries a ten year prison sentence. Weigel will be lucky to avoid additional federal criminal charges.
Accordingly, Weigel is going to need an attorney through this process. He is facing serious charges, and without an attorney may be financially ruined. If you or a loved one is facing theft charges, forfeiture of personal property, or any other serious criminal penalties in Polk County, Dallas County, Story County, Pottawattamie County, Scott County, Linn County, Johnson County, or anywhere else in the State of Iowa, do not hesitate to call us at Stowers Law Firm. We provide experienced and dedicated representations to clients throughout