Official Corruption Prosecutions for February 2013

Number Latest Month 34
Percent Change from previous month -22.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago -21.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -17.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -23.3
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2013 the government reported 34 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 22.7% 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 2013 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-21.2 percent). 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 17.5 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

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 February 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 29.4 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (26.5%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (17.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (11.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (5.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (5.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (2.9%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in February 2013 was FBI accounting for 38 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: IRS (12% ), HUD (9%), DHS (6%), Defense (6%). 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 February 2013, 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 February the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 involving the "Bribery of public officials and witnesses". This was the lead charge for 50 percent of all magistrate filings in February.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In February 2013, 26 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February there were an additional 1 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 February.

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 February 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 5 1 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 4 2 More
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 3 3 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 3 3 More
18 USC 207 - Restrictions on former officers, employees, etc 2 5 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 2 5 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 2 5 More
18 USC 872 - Extortion by officers or employees of US 1 8 More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 1 8 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 1 8 More
18 USC 1512 - Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant 1 8 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 1 8 More
18 USC 3565 - Revocation of probation 1 8 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 286.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 666 and "Fraud/false statements or entries generally" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1001.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In February 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 10.6 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  
Penn, E 6 1 More
D. C. 3 2 More
S Car 2 3 More
Arizona 1 4 More
Cal, C 1 4 More
Cal, E 1 4 More
Colorado 1 4 More
Ken, E 1 4 More
La, E 1 4 More
La, M 1 4 More
Mass 1 4 More
Mo, W 1 4 More
N Car, M 1 4 More
N Car, W 1 4 More
N. Y., S 1 4 More
Okla, W 1 4 More
Utah 1 4 More
Virg, E 1 4 More
Wash, W 1 4 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)—with 6 prosecutions—was the most active during February 2013.

  • The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) ranked 2nd.

  • District of South Carolina 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 of this type during February 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Joyner, J. Curtis Penn, E 3 1 More
Kelly, Robert F. Penn, E 3 1 More
Jackson, Amy Berman D. C. 2 3 More
Madonald, Bruce Gordon Arizona 1 4 More
Pregerson, Dean D. Cal, C 1 4 More
Mueller, Kimberly Jo Cal, E 1 4 More
Blackburn, Robert E. Colorado 1 4 More
Wilkins, Robert Leon D. C. 1 4 More
Wier, Robert E. Ken, E 1 4 More
Engelhardt, Kurt D. La, E 1 4 More
Brady, James J. La, M 1 4 More
Dein, Judith G. Mass 1 4 More
Whipple, Dean Mo, W 1 4 More
Whitney, Frank DeArmon N Car, W 1 4 More
Crotty, Paul Austin N. Y., S 1 4 More
Nuffer, David Utah 1 4 More
Lauck, M. Hannah Virg, E 1 4 More
Creatura, J. Richard Wash, W 1 4 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 18 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 18 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judges J. Curtis Joyner in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and Robert F. Kelly in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) ranked 1st with 3 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) ranked 3rd with 2 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: April 23, 2013
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