Official Corruption Convictions for December 2012

Number Latest Month 58
Percent Change from previous month 56.8
Percent Change from 1 year ago 5.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -3.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -3.5
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.

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 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.

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 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.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 16 1 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 8 2 More
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 5 3 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 4 4 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 4 4 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 3 6 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 3 6 More
18 USC 241 - Conspiracy against rights 2 8 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 2 8 More
18 USC 1711 - Misappropriation of postal funds 2 8 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 2 8 More
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.


Judicial District Count Rank  
Maryland 14 1 More
N. J. 6 2 More
Fla, S 5 3 More
Miss, S 4 4 More
Ga, N 3 5 More
S Car 3 5 More
Mich, E 2 7 More
Mo, E 2 7 More
N Mexico 2 7 More
Ala, N 1 10 More
Cal, S 1 10 More
Colorado 1 10 More
Fla, M 1 10 More
Ga, S 1 10 More
Ken, E 1 10 More
Mich, W 1 10 More
Mo, W 1 10 More
N. Y., W 1 10 More
Nevada 1 10 More
Penn, M 1 10 More
Penn, W 1 10 More
Puer Rico 1 10 More
Tenn, W 1 10 More
Texas, S 1 10 More
W Virg, S 1 10 More
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.

Judge Count Rank  
Messitte, Peter Jo Maryland 10 1 More
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 3 2 More
Blake, Catherine C. Maryland 3 2 More
Ozerden, Halil Suleyman Miss, S 3 2 More
Pisano, Joel A. N. J. 3 2 More
Moreno, Federico A. Fla, S 2 6 More
Sippel, Rodney W. Mo, E 2 6 More
Proctor, R. David Ala, N 1 8 More
Anello, Michael M. Cal, S 1 8 More
Jackson, Richard Brooke Colorado 1 8 More
Moody, James S., Jr. Fla, M 1 8 More
Story, Richard W. Ga, N 1 8 More
Jones, Steve CarMichael Ga, N 1 8 More
Totenberg, Amy Mil Ga, N 1 8 More
Moore, William Theodore, Jr. Ga, S 1 8 More
Reeves, Danny C. Ken, E 1 8 More
Williams, Alexander, Jr. Maryland 1 8 More
Cleland, Robert Hardy Mich, E 1 8 More
Cook, Julian Abele, Jr. Mich, E 1 8 More
Greeley, Timothy P. Mich, W 1 8 More
Roper, John M. Miss, S 1 8 More
Dorr, Richard Everett Mo, W 1 8 More
Black, Bruce D. N Mexico 1 8 More
Herrera, Judith C. N Mexico 1 8 More
Chesler, Stanley R. N. J. 1 8 More
Linares, Jose L. N. J. 1 8 More
Kugler, Robert B. N. J. 1 8 More
Arcara, Richard Joseph N. Y., W 1 8 More
George, Lloyd D. Nevada 1 8 More
Caputo, A. Richard Penn, M 1 8 More
Cohill, Maurice Blanchard, Jr. Penn, W 1 8 More
Garcia-Gregory, Jay A. Puer Rico 1 8 More
Anderson, Joseph Fletcher, Jr. S Car 1 8 More
Seymour, Margaret B. S Car 1 8 More
Harwell, Robert Bryan S Car 1 8 More
Anderson, Stanley Thomas Tenn, W 1 8 More
Hanen, Andrew S. Texas, S 1 8 More
Johnston, Thomas E. W Virg, S 1 8 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

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.

  • Judges 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
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