Official Corruption Convictions for April 2013

Number Latest Month 46
Percent Change from previous month -13.2
Percent Change from 1 year ago 3.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -2.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -2.4
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2013 the government reported 46 new official corruption convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 13.2% over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for 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 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was up (3.2 percent). Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 2.3 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in official corruption convictions

The leveling out from the levels five years ago in official corruption convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of official corruption convictions 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 convictions of these matters in April 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 37 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (17.4%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (13%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (10.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (10.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (6.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (4.3%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in April 2013 was FBI accounting for 50 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were: Postal (15% ), DHS (11%), Defense (7%), BOP (2%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3: Convictions by investigative agency

Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In April 2013, 1 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.

In the magistrate courts in April the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 involving the "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.". This was the lead charge for 100 percent of all magistrate convictions in April.

Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2013, 45 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April there were an additional 0 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 convictions of official corruption matters filed in U.S. District Court during April 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 11 1 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 6 2 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 3 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 3 3 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 2 5 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 2 5 More
18 USC 208 - Acts affecting a personal financial interest 1 7 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 1 7 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 1 7 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 1 7 More
18 USC 653 - Disbursing officer misusing public funds 1 7 More
18 USC 661 - Embezzelement/theft in special jurisdictions 1 7 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 1 7 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 7 More
18 USC 1010 - Fraud - HUD and FHA transactions 1 7 More
18 USC 1014 - Fraud - Loan and credit applications etc 1 7 More
18 USC 1040 - Fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits 1 7 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 1 7 More
18 USC 1711 - Misappropriation of postal funds 1 7 More
18 USC 1952 - Racketeering -interstate/foreign travel/transport 1 7 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 1 7 More
20 USC 1097 - Higher education Resources & Student Assistance 1 7 More
21 USC 843 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts C 1 7 More
29 USC 501 - Fiduciary responsibility - officers of labor orgs 1 7 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 666) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341 and "Hobbs Act" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 17.6 official corruption convictions for every ten million people in the United States.

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

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


Judicial District Count Rank  
Mich, E 10 1 More
N. J. 7 2 More
Cal, C 3 3 More
Mass 3 3 More
Ohio, N 3 3 More
Fla, S 2 6 More
Maryland 2 6 More
N Car, E 2 6 More
Cal, S 1 9 More
Delaware 1 9 More
Ga, S 1 9 More
Ind, S 1 9 More
Mo, W 1 9 More
N. Y., S 1 9 More
Okla, E 1 9 More
Okla, W 1 9 More
Oregon 1 9 More
Tenn, E 1 9 More
Tenn, W 1 9 More
Texas, S 1 9 More
Virg, E 1 9 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit)—with 10 convictions—was the most active during April 2013.

  • The District of New Jersey ranked 2nd.

  • Central District of California (Los Angeles), District of Massachusetts and Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) are 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 resulting in convictions of this type during April 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Roberts, Victoria A. Mich, E 4 1 More
Rodriguez, Joseph H. N. J. 3 2 More
Cohn, James I. Fla, S 2 3 More
Messitte, Peter Jo Maryland 2 3 More
Saris, Patti B. Mass 2 3 More
Hood, Denise Page Mich, E 2 3 More
Lioi, Sara Elizabeth Ohio, N 2 3 More
Otero, S. James Cal, C 1 8 More
Bencivengo, Cathy Ann Cal, S 1 8 More
Andrews, Richard Gibson Delaware 1 8 More
Moore, William Theodore, Jr. Ga, S 1 8 More
Pratt, Tanya Walton Ind, S 1 8 More
Young, William G. Mass 1 8 More
Cohn, Avern Levin Mich, E 1 8 More
Friedman, Bernard A. Mich, E 1 8 More
Rosen, Gerald Ellis Mich, E 1 8 More
Steeh, George Caram, III Mich, E 1 8 More
Dorr, Richard Everett Mo, W 1 8 More
Britt, William Earl N Car, E 1 8 More
Flanagan, Louise W. N Car, E 1 8 More
Cavanaugh, Dennis M. N. J. 1 8 More
Thompson, Anne Elise N. J. 1 8 More
Linares, Jose L. N. J. 1 8 More
Hillman, Noel Lawrence N. J. 1 8 More
Wood, Kimba Maureen N. Y., S 1 8 More
Gwin, James S. Ohio, N 1 8 More
West, Kimberly E. Okla, E 1 8 More
Friot, Stephen P. Okla, W 1 8 More
Hernandez, Marco Antonio Oregon 1 8 More
Varlan, Thomas A. Tenn, E 1 8 More
Mays, Samuel H., Jr. Tenn, W 1 8 More
Hoyt, Kenneth M. Texas, S 1 8 More
Lee, Gerald Bruce Virg, E 1 8 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 33 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption convictions . (Because of ties, there were a total of 33 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Victoria A. Roberts in the Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) ranked 1st with 4 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in the District of New Jersey ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judges James I. Cohn in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Peter Jo Messitte in the District of Maryland, Patti B. Saris in the District of Massachusetts, Denise Page Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) and Sara Elizabeth Lioi in the Norther n District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 3rd with 2 convicted in official corruption convictions.

Report Generated: June 10, 2013
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