Official Corruption Prosecutions for January 2014
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2014 the government reported 41 new official corruption prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 141.2% 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 2014 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-10.2 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 30.6 percent from levels reported in 2009.
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
Other Public Corruption
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in January 2014 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 31.7 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (22%), "
Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (17.1%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (9.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (7.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (7.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (4.9%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in January 2014
was FBI accounting for 51 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were:
Defense (7% ), HUD (7%), IRS (7%), Labor (7%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Figure 3: Prosecutions by investigative agency
Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In January 2014, 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 371 involving the "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US". This was the lead charge
for 57.1 percent of all magistrate filings in January.
Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In January 2014, 34 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January there
were an additional 7 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 2014.
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 "Mail, money, or other property of United States" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 2114.
Ranked 3rd were "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 and "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In January 2014 the Justice Department said the government brought 15.7 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.
Table 3: Top 10 districts
The District of Puerto Rico—with 6 prosecutions—was the most active during January 2014.
The District of New Jersey ranked 2nd.
Southern District of Florida (Miami) and Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) 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 2014 are shown in Table 4.
All 29 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 29 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Gustavo Antonio Gelpi, Jr. in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 1st with 5 defendants in official corruption cases.
Judges Susan Davis Wigenton in the District of New Jersey, James Knoll Gardner in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and James Randolph Spencer in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria)
ranked 2nd with 2 defendants in official corruption cases.
Report Generated: March 17, 2014