Official Corruption Prosecutions for January 2013

Number Latest Month 44
Percent Change from previous month 57.1
Percent Change from 1 year ago -15.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -16.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -19.0
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2013 the government reported 44 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 57.1% 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 (-15 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 16.3 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 January 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 36.4 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (15.9%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (13.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (11.4%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (11.4%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (9.1%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (2.3%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in January 2013 was FBI accounting for 66 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: Defense (7% ), DEA (5%), HUD (5%), Postal (5%). 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 January 2013, 7 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 January the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 666 involving the "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds". This was the lead charge for 71.4 percent of all magistrate filings in January.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In January 2013, 37 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January there were an additional 2 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 January.

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 January 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 13 1 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 6 2 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 4 3 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 4 3 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 2 5 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 2 5 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 2 5 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 1 8 More
18 USC 208 - Acts affecting a personal financial interest 1 8 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 1 8 More
18 USC 1711 - Misappropriation of postal funds 1 8 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 1 8 More
19 USC 1459 - Reporting requirements for individuals 1 8 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 666) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Hobbs Act" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 and "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 15.2 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  
Texas, S 6 1 More
Fla, S 4 2 More
La, E 3 3 More
N. Y., E 3 3 More
Mass 2 5 More
Mich, E 2 5 More
N Car, W 2 5 More
S Car 2 5 More
Ala, M 1 9 More
Cal, N 1 9 More
Delaware 1 9 More
Ga, N 1 9 More
Ill, S 1 9 More
Kansas 1 9 More
Ken, W 1 9 More
Mo, E 1 9 More
N Car, E 1 9 More
N. Y., W 1 9 More
Penn, E 1 9 More
Penn, M 1 9 More
Texas, N 1 9 More
Texas, W 1 9 More
Virg, E 1 9 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Southern District of Texas (Houston)—with 6 prosecutions—was the most active during January 2013.

  • The Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 2nd.

  • Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) and Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) 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 January 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Hanen, Andrew S. Texas, S 3 1 More
Cohn, James I. Fla, S 2 2 More
Duval, Stanwood R., Jr. La, E 2 2 More
Conrad, Robert James, Jr. N Car, W 2 2 More
Miller, Gray Hampton Texas, S 2 2 More
Fuller, Mark E. Ala, M 1 6 More
Illston, Susan Yvonne Cal, N 1 6 More
Robinson, Sue Lewis Delaware 1 6 More
Cooke, Marcia G. Fla, S 1 6 More
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 1 6 More
Carnes, Julie E. Ga, N 1 6 More
Gilbert, John Phil Ill, S 1 6 More
Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer Kansas 1 6 More
Russell, Thomas B. Ken, W 1 6 More
Berrigan, Helen Ginger La, E 1 6 More
Wolf, Mark Lawrence Mass 1 6 More
Woodlock, Douglas Preston Mass 1 6 More
Cook, Julian Abele, Jr. Mich, E 1 6 More
Tarnow, Arthur J. Mich, E 1 6 More
Autrey, Henry Edward Mo, E 1 6 More
Boyle, Terrence William N Car, E 1 6 More
Ross, Allyne R. N. Y., E 1 6 More
Weinstein, Jack Bertrand N. Y., E 1 6 More
Matsumoto, Kiyo A. N. Y., E 1 6 More
Arcara, Richard Joseph N. Y., W 1 6 More
Surrick, R[ichard] Barclay Penn, E 1 6 More
Jones, John E., III Penn, M 1 6 More
Godbey, David C. Texas, N 1 6 More
Crane, Randy Texas, S 1 6 More
Moses, Alia Texas, W 1 6 More
Allen, Arenda Lauretta Wright Virg, E 1 6 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 31 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 31 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Andrew S. Hanen in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 1st with 3 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judges James I. Cohn in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. in the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans), Robert James Conrad, Jr. in the Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) and Gray Hampton Miller in the Southern Dis trict of Texas (Houston) ranked 2nd with 2 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: March 5, 2013
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