Official Corruption Convictions for May 2013

Number Latest Month 43
Percent Change from previous month -6.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago 2.8
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 2.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 2.5
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during May 2013 the government reported 43 new official corruption convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 6.5% 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 (2.8 percent). Convictions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 2.1 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 May 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other", accounting for 34.9 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (20.9%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Local" (18.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (4.7%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in May 2013 was FBI accounting for 40 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were: Defense (16% ), Postal (14%), ATF (9%), DHS (7%). 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 May 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 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 100 percent of all magistrate convictions in May.

Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In May 2013, 42 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during May 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 May.

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 May 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 8 1 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 6 2 More
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 6 2 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 4 4 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 3 5 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 3 5 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 2 7 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 2 7 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 2 7 More
18 USC 4 - Misprision of Felony 1 10 More
18 USC 208 - Acts affecting a personal financial interest 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 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 1 10 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 1 10 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency were the lead charges "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 and "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 666.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In May 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 16.4 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  
Cal, S 4 1 More
Maryland 4 1 More
Virg, W 4 1 More
Kansas 3 4 More
Mass 2 5 More
N Car, E 2 5 More
Okla, N 2 5 More
Tenn, E 2 5 More
Virg, E 2 5 More
Ala, M 1 10 More
Ala, N 1 10 More
Arizona 1 10 More
Cal, C 1 10 More
Colorado 1 10 More
Fla, M 1 10 More
La, 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
Ohio, N 1 10 More
Penn, E 1 10 More
Penn, M 1 10 More
Puer Rico 1 10 More
R. I. 1 10 More
Texas, S 1 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Southern District of California (San Diego), District of Maryland and Western District of Virginia (Roanoke)—with 4 convictions—were the most active during May 2013.

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 May 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Jones, James Parker Virg, W 4 1 More
Burns, Larry Alan Cal, S 3 2 More
Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer Kansas 3 2 More
Quarles, William D., Jr. Maryland 3 2 More
Boyle, Terrence William N Car, E 2 5 More
Frizzell, Gregory Kent Okla, N 2 5 More
Fuller, Mark E. Ala, M 1 7 More
Blackburn, Sharon Lovelace Ala, N 1 7 More
Madonald, Bruce Gordon Arizona 1 7 More
Selna, James V. Cal, C 1 7 More
Benitez, Roger T. Cal, S 1 7 More
Krieger, Marcia S. Colorado 1 7 More
Honeywell, Charlene Vanessa Edwards Fla, M 1 7 More
Bennett, Richard D. Maryland 1 7 More
Wolf, Mark Lawrence Mass 1 7 More
Saylor, F. Dennis, IV Mass 1 7 More
Vazquez, Martha Alicia N Mexico 1 7 More
Walls, William H. N. J. 1 7 More
Weinstein, Jack Bertrand N. Y., E 1 7 More
Lioi, Sara Elizabeth Ohio, N 1 7 More
Baylson, Michael M. Penn, E 1 7 More
Jones, John E., III Penn, M 1 7 More
Delgado-Colon, Aida M. Puer Rico 1 7 More
McConnell, John James, Jr. R. I. 1 7 More
Phillips, Thomas W. Tenn, E 1 7 More
Varlan, Thomas A. Tenn, E 1 7 More
Atlas, Nancy Friedman Texas, S 1 7 More
Davis, Mark Steven Virg, E 1 7 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 28 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption convictions . (Because of ties, there were a total of 28 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge James Parker Jones in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 1st with 4 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judges Larry Alan Burns in the Southern District of California (San Diego), Kathryn Hoefer Vratil in the District of Kansas and William D. Quarles, Jr. in the District of Maryland ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in official corruption convictions.

Report Generated: July 22, 2013
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