Official Corruption Prosecutions for March 2013

Number Latest Month 59
Percent Change from previous month 78.8
Percent Change from 1 year ago -21.7
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -25.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -30.8
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2013 the government reported 59 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 78.8% 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 (-21.7 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 25 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 March 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-State", accounting for 28.8 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local" (23.7%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (13.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (11.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (8.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (6.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (6.8%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in March 2013 was FBI accounting for 73 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: Postal (7% ), Defense (5%), DHS (3%), Veteran (3%). 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 March 2013, 14 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 March the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 involving the "Attempt and conspiracy". This was the lead charge for 42.9 percent of all magistrate filings in March.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In March 2013, 45 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during March there were an additional 4 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 March.

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 March 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 9 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 7 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 5 3 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 4 5 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 3 6 More
18 USC 892 - Making extortionate extensions of credit 2 7 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 2 7 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 2 7 More
18 USC 207 - Restrictions on former officers, employees, etc 1 10 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 1 10 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 10 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 1 10 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 1 10 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 1 10 More
18 USC 1952 - Racketeering -interstate/foreign travel/transport 1 10 More
18 USC 3261 - Criminal Offenses committed by Members of the Armed Forces outside US 1 10 More
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 1 10 More
26 USC 7212 - Attempts to interfere with admin of tax laws 1 10 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 "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 and "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In March 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 19.2 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  
N. J. 10 1 More
D. C. 5 2 More
La, M 3 3 More
Mich, E 3 3 More
Ga, M 2 5 More
Miss, N 2 5 More
Ohio, N 2 5 More
Penn, E 2 5 More
Texas, W 2 5 More
Utah 2 5 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The District of New Jersey—with 10 prosecutions—was the most active during March 2013.

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

  • Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) and Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) 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 March 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Shipp, Michael A. N. J. 8 1 More
Sullivan, Emmet G. D. C. 4 2 More
Brady, James J. La, M 3 3 More
Treadwell, Marc Thomas Ga, M 2 4 More
Friedman, Bernard A. Mich, E 2 4 More
Jones, C. Darnell, II Penn, E 2 4 More
Briones, David Texas, W 2 4 More
Burgess, Timothy Mark Alaska 1 8 More
Bates, John D. D. C. 1 8 More
Murphy, Harold Lloyd Ga, N 1 8 More
Stagg, Thomas E., Jr. La, W 1 8 More
Young, William G. Mass 1 8 More
Cohn, Avern Levin Mich, E 1 8 More
Aycock, Sharion Miss, N 1 8 More
Flanagan, Louise W. N Car, E 1 8 More
Chesler, Stanley R. N. J. 1 8 More
Linares, Jose L. N. J. 1 8 More
Koeltl, John George N. Y., S 1 8 More
Dowd, David Dudley, Jr. Ohio, N 1 8 More
Lioi, Sara Elizabeth Ohio, N 1 8 More
Hernandez, Marco Antonio Oregon 1 8 More
Bissoon, Cathy Penn, W 1 8 More
Mays, Samuel H., Jr. Tenn, W 1 8 More
Crone, Marcia A. Texas, E 1 8 More
McBryde, John H. Texas, N 1 8 More
Hoyt, Kenneth M. Texas, S 1 8 More
Benson, Dee Vance Utah 1 8 More
Nuffer, David Utah 1 8 More
Payne, Robert E. Virg, E 1 8 More
Skavdahl, Scott W. Wyoming 1 8 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 16 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption filings , while the remaining 14 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 30 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Michael A. Shipp in the District of New Jersey ranked 1st with 8 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in the District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) ranked 2nd with 4 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge James J. Brady in the Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) ranked 3rd with 3 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: May 9, 2013
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