Official Corruption Convictions for January 2013

Number Latest Month 55
Percent Change from previous month -8.3
Percent Change from 1 year ago 5.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -6.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -6.6
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2013 the government reported 55 new official corruption convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 8.3% 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 2013 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 6.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

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 January 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 38.2 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (14.5%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (12.7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (10.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (10.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (9.1%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (3.6%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in January 2013 was FBI accounting for 45 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were: DHS (7% ), Justice Other (7%), Postal (5%). 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 January 2013, 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 January 2013, 55 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January 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 January.

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 January 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 10 1 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 6 2 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 5 3 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 4 4 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 4 4 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 3 6 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 3 6 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 2 8 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 2 8 More
42 USC 408 - Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties 2 8 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "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 "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 21.5 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  
Texas, N 7 1 More
N. J. 5 2 More
Ohio, N 4 3 More
Fla, S 3 4 More
Maryland 3 4 More
N Mexico 3 4 More
Okla, W 3 4 More
Ind, N 2 8 More
Kansas 2 8 More
La, M 2 8 More
Mo, E 2 8 More
Tenn, E 2 8 More
Texas, S 2 8 More
Virg, E 2 8 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth)—with 7 convictions—was the most active during January 2013.

  • The District of New Jersey ranked 2nd.

  • Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) 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 January 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Lioi, Sara Elizabeth Ohio, N 3 1 More
Means, Terry R. Texas, N 3 1 More
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 2 3 More
Simon, Philip P. Ind, N 2 3 More
Jackson, Brian Anthony La, M 2 3 More
Hochberg, Faith S. N. J. 2 3 More
Pisano, Joel A. N. J. 2 3 More
Varlan, Thomas A. Tenn, E 2 3 More
Cummings, Samuel Ray Texas, N 2 3 More
Solis, Jorge Antonio Texas, N 2 3 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 10 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption convictions .

  • Judges Sara Elizabeth Lioi in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) and Terry R. Means in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 1st with 3 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judges Robert Nichols Scola, Jr. in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Philip P. Simon in the Northern District of Indiana (South Bend), Brian Anthony Jackson in the Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge), Faith S. Hochberg in the District of New Jerse y, Joel A. Pisano in the District of New Jersey, Thomas A. Varlan in the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville), Samuel Ray Cummings in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) and Jorge Antonio Solis in the Northern District of Texas (Fo ranked 3rd with 2 convicted in official corruption convictions.

Report Generated: March 5, 2013
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