A person is guilty of rent gouging in the first degree when, in the course of a scheme constituting a systematic ongoing course of conduct in connection with the leasing, rental or use of three or more apartment units, the rental price of which is regulated pursuant to the provisions of federal, state or local law, he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from one or more persons in three separate transactions some consideration of value, knowing that such consideration is in addition to lawful rental and other lawful charges established pursuant to the provisions of such federal, state or local law, and upon an agreement or understanding that the furnishing of such consideration will increase the possibility that any person may obtain or renew the lease, rental or use of such property, or that a failure to furnish it will decrease the possibility that any person may obtain or renew same, and thereby obtains such consideration from one or more persons.
Rent gouging in the first degree is a class E felony.
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