Official Corruption Prosecutions for April 2014

Number Latest Month 46
Percent Change from previous month -6.1
Percent Change from 1 year ago -30.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -24.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -25.5
Table 1. Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2014 the government reported 46 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 6.1 percent 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 2014 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-30%). 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 24.3 percent from levels reported in 2009.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

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 2014 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 58.7 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (17.4%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (10.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (4.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (4.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (2.2%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (2.2%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in April 2014 was FBI accounting for 43 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: USAO (17% ), HUD (7%), DHS (4%). 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 2014, 8 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 18 U.S.C Section 666 involving "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds". This was the lead charge for 87.5 percent of all magistrate filings in April.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2014, 38 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 prosecutions of official corruption matters filed in U.S. District Court during April 2014.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 9 1 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 9 1 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 4 3 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 2 4 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 2 4 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 2 4 More
18 USC 208 - Acts affecting a personal financial interest 1 7 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 1 7 More
18 USC 654 - Officer or employee of US converting property 1 7 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 1 7 More
18 USC 1623 - False declarations before grand jury or court 1 7 More
18 USC 1711 - Misappropriation of postal funds 1 7 More
18 USC 1919 - False statement - unemployment comp for Fed ser 1 7 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 1 7 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 1 7 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 1 7 More
Table 2. Top Charges Filed

  • "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 666) and "Providing or possessing contraband in prison" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1791) were the most frequent recorded lead charges.

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

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2014 the Justice Department said the government brought 14.5 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  
Virgin Is 8 1 More
Ind, N 5 2 More
D. C. 3 3 More
Mo, E 3 3 More
N. Y., E 2 5 More
Cal, C 1 6 More
Cal, E 1 6 More
Cal, N 1 6 More
Colorado 1 6 More
Ga, N 1 6 More
Ill, S 1 6 More
Ind, S 1 6 More
Ken, E 1 6 More
La, E 1 6 More
La, M 1 6 More
Maine 1 6 More
Maryland 1 6 More
Mass 1 6 More
Montana 1 6 More
N Mexico 1 6 More
Nebraska 1 6 More
Penn, E 1 6 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts

  • The District of Virgin Islands — with 8 prosecutions — was the most active during April 2014.

  • The Northern District of Indiana (South Bend) ranked 2nd.

  • District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) and Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) 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 of this type during April 2014 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Lozano, Rodolfo Ind, N 5 1 More
Lewis, Wilma A. Virgin Is 5 1 More
Perry, Catherine D. Mo, E 3 3 More
Brennan, Edmund F. Cal, E 1 4 More
Koh, Lucy Haeran Cal, N 1 4 More
Brimmer, Philip A. Colorado 1 4 More
Hogan, Thomas Francis D. C. 1 4 More
Kessler, Gladys D. C. 1 4 More
Howell, Beryl Alaine D. C. 1 4 More
Reagan, Michael Joseph Ill, S 1 4 More
Magnus-Stinson, Jane Elizabeth Ind, S 1 4 More
Bunning, David L. Ken, E 1 4 More
Duval, Stanwood R., Jr. La, E 1 4 More
Dick, Shelly Deckert La, M 1 4 More
Woodcock, John A., Jr. Maine 1 4 More
Woodlock, Douglas Preston Mass 1 4 More
Cogan, Brian Mark N. Y., E 1 4 More
Townes, Sandra L. N. Y., E 1 4 More
Gossett, F.A. Nebraska 1 4 More
Schiller, Berle M. Penn, E 1 4 More
Cannon, George W. Virgin Is 1 4 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

All 21 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 21 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judges Rodolfo Lozano in the Northern District of Indiana (South Bend) and Wilma A. Lewis in the District of Virgin Islands ranked 1st with 5 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge Catherine D. Perry in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 3rd with 3 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: July 3, 2014
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Copyright 2014, TRAC Reports, Inc.

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