Official Corruption Convictions for October 2012

Number Latest Month 51
Percent Change from previous month -10.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago 6.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -15.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -15.7
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2012 the government reported 51 new official corruption convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 10.5% 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 2012 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was up (6.4 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 15.3 percent from levels reported in 2007.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in official corruption convictions

The decrease 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 October 2012 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 27.5 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (17.6%), " Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (15.7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (15.7%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (9.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (9.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (3.9%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in October 2012 was FBI accounting for 57 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were: IRS (16% ), DHS (4%), Defense (4%), Justice Other (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 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 convictions in October.

Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In October 2012, 47 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during October 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 October.

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 October 2012.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 8 1 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 7 2 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 5 3 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 4 4 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 4 4 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 3 6 More
18 USC 2243 - Sexual abuse of a minor or ward 3 6 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 2 8 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 2 8 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 2 8 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 "Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Hobbs Act" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2012 the Justice Department said the government obtained 18.4 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 7 1 More
Cal, C 3 2 More
D. C. 3 2 More
Fla, S 3 2 More
Ga, N 3 2 More
La, E 3 2 More
Miss, S 3 2 More
Penn, E 3 2 More
N. J. 2 9 More
Texas, N 2 9 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Southern District of California (San Diego)—with 7 convictions—was the most active during October 2012.

  • The Central District of California (Los Angeles), District of Washington, D.C. (Washington), Southern District of Florida (Miami), Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans), Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson) a nd Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) ranked 2nd.

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 October 2012 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Burns, Larry Alan Cal, S 7 1 More
Duffey, William S., Jr. Ga, N 3 2 More
Vance, Sarah S. La, E 3 2 More
Jordan, Daniel Porter, III Miss, S 3 2 More
Sullivan, Emmet G. D. C. 2 5 More
Cooke, Marcia G. Fla, S 2 5 More
Means, Terry R. Texas, N 2 5 More
Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen D. C. 1 8 More
Hinkle, Robert Lewis Fla, N 1 8 More
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 1 8 More
Sands, W[illie] Louis Ga, M 1 8 More
Zagel, James Block Ill, N 1 8 More
O'Hara, James P. Kansas 1 8 More
Van Tatenhove, Gregory Frederick Ken, E 1 8 More
Haik, Richard T., Sr La, W 1 8 More
Woodcock, John A., Jr. Maine 1 8 More
Cook, Julian Abele, Jr. Mich, E 1 8 More
Pisano, Joel A. N. J. 1 8 More
Bumb, Renee Marie N. J. 1 8 More
Spatt, Arthur Donald N. Y., E 1 8 More
Frizzell, Gregory Kent Okla, N 1 8 More
Padova, John R. Penn, E 1 8 More
Stengel, Lawrence F. Penn, E 1 8 More
Jones, C. Darnell, II Penn, E 1 8 More
Caldwell, William W. Penn, M 1 8 More
McCalla, Jon Phipps Tenn, W 1 8 More
Morgan, Henry Coke, Jr. Virg, E 1 8 More
Johnston, Thomas E. W Virg, S 1 8 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 14 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 14 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 28 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Larry Alan Burns in the Southern District of California (San Diego) ranked 1st with 7 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judges William S. Duffey, Jr. in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), Sarah S. Vance in the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) and Daniel Porter Jordan, III in the Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson) ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in official corruption convictions.

Report Generated: February 6, 2013
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