Official Corruption Prosecutions for July 2013

Number Latest Month 52
Percent Change from previous month 26.8
Percent Change from 1 year ago -5.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -11.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -14.3
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during July 2013 the government reported 52 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 26.8% 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 (-5.5 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 11.5 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 July 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement", accounting for 40.4 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (19.2%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Local" (13.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (9.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (7.7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (5.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (3.8%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in July 2013 was FBI accounting for 48 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: DHS (27% ), Defense (8%), Justice Other (8%), IRS (4%). 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 July 2013, 4 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 July the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 203 involving the "Compensation to Members of Congress, etc". This was the lead charge for 50 percent of all magistrate filings in July.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In July 2013, 48 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during July there were an additional 5 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 July.

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 July 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 13 1 More
18 USC 1542 - False statement in application and use of passport 11 2 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 9 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 4 4 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 3 5 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 3 5 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 2 7 More
18 USC 208 - Acts affecting a personal financial interest 1 8 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 1 8 More
18 USC 912 - False personification - Officer or employee of US 1 8 More
18 USC 1030 - Fraud and related activity - computers 1 8 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 1 8 More
18 USC 1700 - Desertion of mails 1 8 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 1 8 More
26 USC 7212 - Attempts to interfere with admin of tax laws 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 "False statement in application and use of passport" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1542.

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

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In July 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 20.7 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.

Judicial District Count Rank  
Cal, C 11 1 More
Montana 7 2 More
Texas, S 7 2 More
Texas, N 5 4 More
N. Y., S 4 5 More
Texas, W 4 5 More
D. C. 2 7 More
N Car, E 2 7 More
Virg, E 2 7 More
Cal, S 1 10 More
Ga, N 1 10 More
Ind, S 1 10 More
Mich, E 1 10 More
Mo, W 1 10 More
N Mexico 1 10 More
N. J. 1 10 More
N. Y., E 1 10 More
Wash, W 1 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Central District of California (Los Angeles)—with 11 prosecutions—was the most active during July 2013.

  • The District of Montana and Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 2nd.

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 July 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Pregerson, Dean D. Cal, C 11 1 More
Christensen, Dana Lewis Montana 6 2 More
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 4 3 More
Forrest, Katherine Bolan N. Y., S 3 4 More
Flanagan, Louise W. N Car, E 2 5 More
Cummings, Samuel Ray Texas, N 2 5 More
Solis, Jorge Antonio Texas, N 2 5 More
Rosenthal, Lee Hyman Texas, S 2 5 More
Moskowitz, Barry Ted Cal, S 1 9 More
Sullivan, Emmet G. D. C. 1 9 More
Bates, John D. D. C. 1 9 More
Hussmann, William G., Jr. Ind, S 1 9 More
Cohn, Avern Levin Mich, E 1 9 More
Hays, Sarah W. Mo, W 1 9 More
Haddon, Sam E. Montana 1 9 More
Cavanaugh, Dennis M. N. J. 1 9 More
Garaufis, Nicholas G. N. Y., E 1 9 More
Lynn, Barbara M. Texas, N 1 9 More
Gilmore, Vanessa D. Texas, S 1 9 More
Hittner, David Texas, S 1 9 More
Hughes, Lynn Nettleton Texas, S 1 9 More
Lake, Simeon Timothy, III Texas, S 1 9 More
Brinkema, Leonie M. Virg, E 1 9 More
Lee, Gerald Bruce Virg, E 1 9 More
Settle, Benjamin Hale Wash, W 1 9 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 25 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 25 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Dean D. Pregerson in the Central District of California (Los Angeles) ranked 1st with 11 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge Dana Lewis Christensen in the District of Montana ranked 2nd with 6 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 3rd with 4 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: September 23, 2013
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