Official Corruption Convictions for March 2013

Number Latest Month 52
Percent Change from previous month 30.0
Percent Change from 1 year ago 7.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -5.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -6.2
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2013 the government reported 52 new official corruption convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 30% 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 (7.6 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 5.4 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 March 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other", accounting for 26.9 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local" (26.9%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (21.2%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (11.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (7.7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (5.8%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in March 2013 was FBI accounting for 37 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were: Postal (13% ), HUD (4%), IRS (4%). 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 March 2013, 1 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 18 U.S.C Section 641 involving the "Public money, property or records". This was the lead charge for 100 percent of all magistrate convictions in March.

Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In March 2013, 51 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during March 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 March.

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 March 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 10 1 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 6 2 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 4 3 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 4 3 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 2 5 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 2 5 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 2 5 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 2 5 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 2 5 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 2 5 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 2 5 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 "Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 286.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 and "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In March 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 19.9 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, W 6 1 More
Mass 4 2 More
Ga, M 3 3 More
Cal, S 2 4 More
D. C. 2 4 More
Miss, N 2 4 More
N Car, E 2 4 More
N. J. 2 4 More
Ohio, N 2 4 More
Okla, N 2 4 More
Penn, E 2 4 More
Virg, E 2 4 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Western District of Texas (San Antonio)—with 6 convictions—was the most active during March 2013.

  • The District of Massachusetts ranked 2nd.

  • Middle District of Georgia (Macon) 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 March 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Rodriguez, Xavier Texas, W 6 1 More
O'Toole, George A., Jr. Mass 4 2 More
Treadwell, Marc Thomas Ga, M 2 3 More
Aycock, Sharion Miss, N 2 3 More
Eagan, Claire V. Okla, N 2 3 More
Burns, Larry Alan Cal, S 1 6 More
Bencivengo, Cathy Ann Cal, S 1 6 More
Blackburn, Robert E. Colorado 1 6 More
Howell, Beryl Alaine D. C. 1 6 More
Contreras, Rudolph D. C. 1 6 More
Honeywell, Charlene Vanessa Edwards Fla, M 1 6 More
Hinkle, Robert Lewis Fla, N 1 6 More
Altonaga, Cecilia M. Fla, S 1 6 More
Sands, W[illie] Louis Ga, M 1 6 More
Lawrence, William T. Ind, S 1 6 More
Murguia, Carlos Kansas 1 6 More
Wier, Robert E. Ken, E 1 6 More
Africk, Lance M. La, E 1 6 More
Hicks, S. Maurice, Jr. La, W 1 6 More
Chasanow, Deborah K. Maryland 1 6 More
Friedman, Bernard A. Mich, E 1 6 More
Edgar, Robert Allan Mich, W 1 6 More
Larsen, Robert E. Mo, W 1 6 More
Boyle, Terrence William N Car, E 1 6 More
Flanagan, Louise W. N Car, E 1 6 More
Miller, Charles S., Jr. N Dakota 1 6 More
Shipp, Michael A. N. J. 1 6 More
Wolfson, Freda L. N. J. 1 6 More
Vitaliano, Eric Nicholas N. Y., E 1 6 More
Boyko, Christopher A. Ohio, N 1 6 More
Pearson, Benita Yalonda Ohio, N 1 6 More
Hernandez, Marco Antonio Oregon 1 6 More
Bartle, Harvey, III Penn, E 1 6 More
Davis, Legrome D. Penn, E 1 6 More
Conti, Joy Flowers Penn, W 1 6 More
Cerezo, Carmen Consuelo Puer Rico 1 6 More
Varlan, Thomas A. Tenn, E 1 6 More
Hilton, Claude M. Virg, E 1 6 More
Hudson, Henry E. Virg, E 1 6 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 20 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption convictions , while the remaining 19 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 39 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Xavier Rodriguez in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 6 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judge George A. O'Toole, Jr. in the District of Massachusetts ranked 2nd with 4 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judges Marc Thomas Treadwell in the Middle District of Georgia (Macon), Sharion Aycock in the Northern District of Mississippi (Oxford) and Claire V. Eagan in the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa) ranked 3rd with 2 convicted in official corruption convictions.

Report Generated: May 9, 2013
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