Official Corruption Convictions for April 2014

Number Latest Month 39
Percent Change from previous month -37.1
Percent Change from 1 year ago 0.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 10.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 10.5
Table 1. Criminal Official Corruption Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2014 the government reported 39 new official corruption convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 37.1 percent 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 2014 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was only slightly up (0.3%). Convictions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 10 percent from levels reported in 2009.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Official Corruption Convictions

The increase 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 2014 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 23.1 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (20.5%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (17.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (15.4%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (10.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (7.7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (5.1%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in April 2014 was FBI accounting for 62 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were: Defense (15% ), Agri (5%), Education (5%), DHS (3%). 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 2014, 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 Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2014, 39 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 2014.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 6 1 More
42 USC 1973 - Denial/abridgement of right to vote 6 1 More
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 4 3 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 3 4 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 3 4 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 3 4 More
18 USC 1014 - Fraud - Loan and credit applications etc 2 7 More
18 USC 1503 - Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally 2 7 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 2 7 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 1 10 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 10 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 1 10 More
18 USC 1346 - Scheme or artifice to defraud 1 10 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 1 10 More
18 USC 1711 - Misappropriation of postal funds 1 10 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 1 10 More
18 USC 2243 - Sexual abuse of a minor or ward 1 10 More
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions

  • "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 201) and "Denial/abridgement of right to vote" (Title 42 U.S.C Section 1973) were the most frequent recorded lead charges.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 666.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2014 the Justice Department said the government obtained 14.9 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  
Ken, E 6 1 More
N Car, E 4 2 More
Texas, N 4 2 More
Cal, S 2 4 More
N. Y., S 2 4 More
Tenn, E 2 4 More
Texas, S 2 4 More
Cal, N 1 8 More
D. C. 1 8 More
Fla, M 1 8 More
Fla, S 1 8 More
Ga, N 1 8 More
Ill, S 1 8 More
Ind, S 1 8 More
Kansas 1 8 More
La, E 1 8 More
La, M 1 8 More
Mo, W 1 8 More
N. J. 1 8 More
N. Y., E 1 8 More
N. Y., N 1 8 More
Nevada 1 8 More
Ohio, S 1 8 More
S Dakota 1 8 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts

  • The Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) — with 6 convictions — was the most active during April 2014.

  • The Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh) and Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 2nd.

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 2014 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
O'Connor, Reed Charles Texas, N 4 1 More
Caldwell, Karen K. Ken, E 3 2 More
Reeves, Danny C. Ken, E 3 2 More
Flanagan, Louise W. N Car, E 2 4 More
Jordan, Robert Leon Tenn, E 2 4 More
Armstrong, Saundra Brown Cal, N 1 6 More
Moskowitz, Barry Ted Cal, S 1 6 More
Bencivengo, Cathy Ann Cal, S 1 6 More
Sullivan, Emmet G. D. C. 1 6 More
Presnell, Gregory A. Fla, M 1 6 More
Williams, Kathleen Mary Fla, S 1 6 More
Totenberg, Amy Mil Ga, N 1 6 More
Stiehl, William Donald Ill, S 1 6 More
Young, Richard L. Ind, S 1 6 More
Marten, John Thomas Kansas 1 6 More
Berrigan, Helen Ginger La, E 1 6 More
Jackson, Brian Anthony La, M 1 6 More
Larsen, Robert E. Mo, W 1 6 More
Britt, William Earl N Car, E 1 6 More
Howard, Malcolm Jones N Car, E 1 6 More
Rodriguez, Joseph H. N. J. 1 6 More
Gershon, Nina N. Y., E 1 6 More
Pauley, William H., III N. Y., S 1 6 More
Rakoff, Jed Saul N. Y., S 1 6 More
Dorsey, Jennifer Anna Nevada 1 6 More
Graham, James L. Ohio, S 1 6 More
Duffy, Veronica L. S Dakota 1 6 More
Hittner, David Texas, S 1 6 More
Hughes, Lynn Nettleton Texas, S 1 6 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

All 29 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 29 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Reed Charles O'Connor in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 1st with 4 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judges Karen K. Caldwell in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) and Danny C. Reeves in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in official corruption convictions.

Report Generated: July 3, 2014
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