Official Corruption Prosecutions for October 2012

Number Latest Month 53
Percent Change from previous month 6.0
Percent Change from 1 year ago -4.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -6.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -7.9
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2012 the government reported 53 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 6% 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 2012 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-4.1 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 6.1 percent from levels reported in 2007.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in official corruption prosecutions

The leveling out 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 October 2012 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 47.2 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (15.1%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (13.2%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (11.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (7.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (3.8%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in October 2012 was FBI accounting for 62 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: State Dep (8% ), IRS (6%), Postal (6%), DHS (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 October 2012, 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 October the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 involving the "Bribery of public officials and witnesses". This was the lead charge for 25 percent of all magistrate filings in October.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In October 2012, 49 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during October 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 October.

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 October 2012.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 14 1 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 10 2 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 5 3 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 5 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 4 5 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 3 6 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 3 6 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 2 8 More
18 USC 1954 - Racketeering - employee benefit plans 2 8 More
08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien 1 10 More
15 USC 78dd-2 - Prohibited foreign trade practices by domestic concern 1 10 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 1 10 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 1 10 More
18 USC 1711 - Misappropriation of postal funds 1 10 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 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 "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 and "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2012 the Justice Department said the government brought 21.1 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 Car, W 6 1 More
Tenn, M 5 2 More
Cal, E 4 3 More
Miss, S 4 3 More
Ind, S 3 5 More
Maryland 3 5 More
Utah 3 5 More
Virg, E 3 5 More
Mich, W 2 9 More
N. Y., E 2 9 More
Ohio, N 2 9 More
Okla, N 2 9 More
Penn, E 2 9 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Western District of North Carolina (Asheville)—with 6 prosecutions—was the most active during October 2012.

  • The Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville) ranked 2nd.

  • Eastern District of California (Sacramento) and Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson) 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 October 2012 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Conrad, Robert James, Jr. N Car, W 6 1 More
Trauger, Aleta Arthur Tenn, M 5 2 More
Burrell, Garland Ellis, Jr. Cal, E 4 3 More
Lee, Tom Stewart Miss, S 4 3 More
Stewart, Brian Theadore Utah 3 5 More
Gershon, Nina N. Y., E 2 6 More
Lioi, Sara Elizabeth Ohio, N 2 6 More
Eagan, Claire V. Okla, N 2 6 More
Davis, Legrome D. Penn, E 2 6 More
Blackburn, Sharon Lovelace Ala, N 1 10 More
Martone, Frederick J. Arizona 1 10 More
Burns, Larry Alan Cal, S 1 10 More
Blackburn, Robert E. Colorado 1 10 More
Moody, James S., Jr. Fla, M 1 10 More
Lawrence, William T. Ind, S 1 10 More
Pratt, Tanya Walton Ind, S 1 10 More
Baker, Tim A. Ind, S 1 10 More
Bennett, Mark W. Iowa, N 1 10 More
Lemmon, Mary Ann Vial La, E 1 10 More
Chasanow, Deborah K. Maryland 1 10 More
Titus, Roger W. Maryland 1 10 More
Russell, George Levi, III Maryland 1 10 More
Bell, Robert Holmes Mich, W 1 10 More
Edgar, Robert Allan Mich, W 1 10 More
Davis, Michael James Minnesota 1 10 More
Bataillon, Joseph F. Nebraska 1 10 More
Friot, Stephen P. Okla, W 1 10 More
Munley, James Martin Penn, M 1 10 More
Anderson, Stanley Thomas Tenn, W 1 10 More
Atlas, Nancy Friedman Texas, S 1 10 More
Morgan, Henry Coke, Jr. Virg, E 1 10 More
Smith, Rebecca Beach Virg, E 1 10 More
O'Grady, Liam Virg, E 1 10 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 filings , while the remaining 13 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 33 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Robert James Conrad, Jr. in the Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) ranked 1st with 6 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge Aleta Arthur Trauger in the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville) ranked 2nd with 5 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judges Garland Ellis Burrell, Jr. in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento) and Tom Stewart Lee in the Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson) ranked 3rd with 4 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: February 6, 2013
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