Official Corruption Prosecutions for May 2013

Number Latest Month 40
Percent Change from previous month -13.0
Percent Change from 1 year ago -17.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -21.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -24.8
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during May 2013 the government reported 40 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 13% 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 (-17.1 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 21.5 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 May 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 25 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (25%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (17.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (12.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (10%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (7.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (2.5%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in May 2013 was FBI accounting for 60 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: Postal (15% ), Education (8%), DHS (5%), Local (5%). 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 May 2013, 3 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 May 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 33.3 percent of all magistrate filings in May.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In May 2013, 37 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during May 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 May.

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 May 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 12 1 More
18 USC 874 - Kickbacks from public works employees 5 2 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 3 3 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 3 3 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 2 5 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 2 5 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 2 5 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 2 5 More
08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien 1 9 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 9 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 1 9 More
18 USC 1346 - Scheme or artifice to defraud 1 9 More
18 USC 1546 - Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents 1 9 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 1 9 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 1 9 More
18 USC 2243 - Sexual abuse of a minor or ward 1 9 More
41 USC 51 - Anti-Kickback Act of 1986 1 9 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 "Kickbacks from public works employees" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 874.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341 and "Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In May 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 16 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  
Ind, S 8 1 More
La, E 4 2 More
Mich, E 3 3 More
Ga, N 2 4 More
Ill, S 2 4 More
Kansas 2 4 More
Mass 2 4 More
Miss, S 2 4 More
Mo, E 2 4 More
W Virg, S 2 4 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis)—with 8 prosecutions—was the most active during May 2013.

  • The Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) ranked 2nd.

  • Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) 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 of this type during May 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Lawrence, William T. Ind, S 5 1 More
Barker, Sarah Evans Ind, S 2 2 More
Melgren, Eric F. Kansas 2 2 More
Fallon, Eldon E. La, E 2 2 More
Steeh, George Caram, III Mich, E 2 2 More
Wingate, Henry Travillion Miss, S 2 2 More
Jackson, Carol E. Mo, E 2 2 More
Copenhaver, John Thomas, Jr. W Virg, S 2 2 More
Walton, Reggie B. D. C. 1 9 More
Hodges, William Terrell Fla, M 1 9 More
Hinkle, Robert Lewis Fla, N 1 9 More
Carnes, Julie E. Ga, N 1 9 More
Duffey, William S., Jr. Ga, N 1 9 More
Gilbert, John Phil Ill, S 1 9 More
Stiehl, William Donald Ill, S 1 9 More
Hussmann, William G., Jr. Ind, S 1 9 More
Barbier, Carl J. La, E 1 9 More
Zainey, Jay C. La, E 1 9 More
Wolf, Mark Lawrence Mass 1 9 More
Woodlock, Douglas Preston Mass 1 9 More
Cohn, Avern Levin Mich, E 1 9 More
Brack, Robert C. N Mexico 1 9 More
Bumb, Renee Marie N. J. 1 9 More
Amon, Carol Bagley N. Y., E 1 9 More
Berman, Richard M. N. Y., S 1 9 More
Garcia-Gregory, Jay A. Puer Rico 1 9 More
Guthrie, Judith K. Texas, E 1 9 More
Lindsay, Sam A. Texas, N 1 9 More
O'Grady, Liam Virg, E 1 9 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 18 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 11 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 29 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge William T. Lawrence in the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis) ranked 1st with 5 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judges Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis), Eric F. Melgren in the District of Kansas, Eldon E. Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans), George Caram Steeh, III in the Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit), Hen ry Travillion Wingate in the Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson), Carol E. Jackson in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) and John Thomas Copenhaver, Jr. in the Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston) ranked 2nd with 2 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: July 22, 2013
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