Official Corruption Convictions for December 2012
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during December 2012 the government reported 58 new official corruption convictions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 56.8% 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 2012 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of convictions was up (5.5 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 3 percent from levels reported in 2007.
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
Other Public Corruption
The largest number of convictions of these matters in December 2012 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 48.3 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (15.5%), "
Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (13.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (8.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (8.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (3.4%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in December 2012
was FBI accounting for 69 percent of convictions.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were:
Postal (12% ), DHS (3%), Justice Other (3%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of convictions
Figure 3: Convictions by investigative agency
Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In December 2012, 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 December the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 1709 involving the "Theft of mail matter by officer or employee". This was the lead charge
for 100 percent of all magistrate convictions in December.
Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In December 2012, 57 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during December 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 December.
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 December 2012.
Table 2: Top charges for convictions
"Hobbs Act" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371.
Ranked 3rd was "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 666.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In December 2012 the Justice Department said the government obtained 22.3 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.
Table 3: Top 10 districts
The District of Maryland—with 14 convictions—was the most active during December 2012.
The District of New Jersey ranked 2nd.
Southern District of Florida (Miami) 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 resulting in convictions of this type
during December 2012 are shown in Table 4.
All 38 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 38 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Peter Jo Messitte in the District of Maryland ranked 1st with 10 convicted in official corruption convictions.
Robert Nichols Scola, Jr. in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Catherine C. Blake in the District of Maryland, Halil Suleyman Ozerden in the Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson) and Joel A. Pisano in the District of New Jersey
ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in official corruption convictions.
Report Generated: February 20, 2013