Official Corruption Prosecutions for April 2013

Number Latest Month 43
Percent Change from previous month -42.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago -14.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -24.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -28.4
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2013 the government reported 43 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 42.7% over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with official corruption-related offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. (See Table 1)

When monthly 2013 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-14.6 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 24.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in official corruption prosecutions

The decrease from the levels five years ago in official corruption prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of official corruption prosecutions of this type recorded on a month-to-month basis. Where a prosecution was initially filed in U.S. Magistrate Court and then transferred to the U.S. District Court, the magistrate filing date was used since this provides an earlier indicator of actual trends. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. The one and five-year rates of change in Table 1 and in the sections that follow are all based upon this six-month moving average. To view trends year-by-year rather than month-by-month, see TRAC's annual report series for a broader picture.

Within the broad category of official corruption, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.

Case types within official corruption are

  • Federal Corruption - Procurement

  • Federal Corruption - Program

  • Federal Corruption - Law Enforcement

  • Federal Corruption - Other

  • State Corruption

  • Local Corruption

  • Other Public Corruption

The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in April 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 20.9 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (20.9%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (18.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (16.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (14%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (2.3%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in April 2013 was FBI accounting for 47 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: DHS (16% ), Postal (14%), IRS (5%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3: Prosecutions by investigative agency

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In April 2013, no defendants in official corruption cases for these matters were filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. These courts handle less serious misdemeanor cases, including what are called "petty offenses." In addition, complaints are sometimes filed in the magistrate courts before an indictment or information is entered. In these cases, the matter starts in the magistrate courts and later moves to the district court where subsequent proceedings take place.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2013, 43 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April there were an additional 6 defendants whose cases moved from the magistrate courts to the U.S. district courts after an indictment or information was filed. The sections which follow cover both sets of cases and therefore cover all matters filed in district court during April.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of official corruption matters filed in U.S. District Court during April 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 10 1 More
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 8 2 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 6 3 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 4 4 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 2 5 More
18 USC 1503 - Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally 2 5 More
18 USC 1519 - Destruct, alter, falsify records in fed. investigations and bankruptcy 2 5 More
18 USC 1546 - Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents 2 5 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 2 5 More
41 USC 51 - Anti-Kickback Act of 1986 2 5 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 666.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 19.2 official corruption prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the number of official corruption prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of prosecutions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.


Judicial District Count Rank  
Virg, E 11 1 More
N. Y., S 6 2 More
Cal, C 5 3 More
Arizona 3 4 More
Texas, S 3 4 More
Colorado 2 6 More
Ill, S 2 6 More
Mich, E 2 6 More
Ohio, N 2 6 More
D. C. 1 10 More
Delaware 1 10 More
Fla, M 1 10 More
Fla, S 1 10 More
Ken, E 1 10 More
La, E 1 10 More
Maryland 1 10 More
Mass 1 10 More
Miss, S 1 10 More
N Mexico 1 10 More
N. J. 1 10 More
Penn, E 1 10 More
Wash, W 1 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria)—with 11 prosecutions—was the most active during April 2013.

  • The Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 2nd.

  • Central District of California (Los Angeles) is now ranking 3rd.

Top Ranked District Judges

At any one time, there are about 680 federal District Court judges working in the United States. The judges recorded with the largest number of new official corruption crime cases of this type during April 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Karas, Kenneth M. N. Y., S 6 1 More
O'Grady, Liam Virg, E 4 2 More
Hanen, Andrew S. Texas, S 3 3 More
Lee, Gerald Bruce Virg, E 3 3 More
Guilford, Andrew J. Cal, C 2 5 More
Tucker, Josephine Staton Cal, C 2 5 More
Martinez, William Joseph Colorado 2 5 More
Reagan, Michael Joseph Ill, S 2 5 More
Polster, Dan A. Ohio, N 2 5 More
Estrada, Hector C. Arizona 1 10 More
Zipps, Jennifer Guerin Arizona 1 10 More
Madonald, Bruce Gordon Arizona 1 10 More
Selna, James V. Cal, C 1 10 More
Wilkins, Robert Leon D. C. 1 10 More
Stark, Leonard Philip Delaware 1 10 More
Bucklew, Susan C. Fla, M 1 10 More
Rosenbaum, Robin S. Fla, S 1 10 More
Wier, Robert E. Ken, E 1 10 More
Feldman, Martin Leach-Cross La, E 1 10 More
Motz, J. Frederick Maryland 1 10 More
Wolf, Mark Lawrence Mass 1 10 More
Cohn, Avern Levin Mich, E 1 10 More
Duggan, Patrick J. Mich, E 1 10 More
Wingate, Henry Travillion Miss, S 1 10 More
Brack, Robert C. N Mexico 1 10 More
Salas, Esther N. J. 1 10 More
Savage, Timothy J. Penn, E 1 10 More
Brinkema, Leonie M. Virg, E 1 10 More
Smith, Rebecca Beach Virg, E 1 10 More
Hudson, Henry E. Virg, E 1 10 More
Davis, Mark Steven Virg, E 1 10 More
Creatura, J. Richard Wash, W 1 10 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 32 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption filings . (Because of ties, there were a total of 32 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Kenneth M. Karas in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 1st with 6 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge Liam O'Grady in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) ranked 2nd with 4 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judges Andrew S. Hanen in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) and Gerald Bruce Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) ranked 3rd with 3 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: June 10, 2013
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