Official Corruption Prosecutions for September 2013

Number Latest Month 62
Percent Change from previous month 31.9
Percent Change from 1 year ago -4.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -9.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -12.8
Table 1: Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during September 2013 the government reported 62 new official corruption prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 31.9% 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 (-4.6 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 9.3 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 September 2013 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other", accounting for 54.8 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" ( 11.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local" (11.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (8.1%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (6.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (6.5%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in September 2013 was Justice Other accounting for 45 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were: FBI (21% ), Postal (10%), BOP (5%), DHS (3%). 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 September 2013, 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 September 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 50 percent of all magistrate filings in September.

Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In September 2013, 58 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during September there were an additional 1 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 September.

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 September 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 26 1 - - More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 7 2 5 2 More
07 USC 2024 - Food Stamp Program - Violations and Enforcement 3 3 - - More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 3 3 3 8 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 3 3 6 13 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 3 3 18 14 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 3 3 3 4 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 2 8 18 14 More
18 USC 207 - Restrictions on former officers, employees, etc 1 9 - - More
18 USC 241 - Conspiracy against rights 1 9 31 - More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 1 9 2 6 More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 1 9 - - More
18 USC 1348 - Securities Fraud 1 9 - - More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 1 9 7 11 More
18 USC 1711 - Misappropriation of postal funds 1 9 15 10 More
18 USC 1920 - False statement - Fed employee's compensation 1 9 31 - More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 1 9 15 36 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "RICO - prohibited activities" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641. "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 was ranked 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Food Stamp Program - Violations and Enforcement" under Title 7 U.S.C Section 2024, "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201, "Fraud by wire, radio, or television" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343, "Providing or possess ing contraband in prison" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1791 and "Hobbs Act" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951. "Bribery of public officials and witnesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 8 five years ago."Fraud by wire, radio, or television" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343 was ranked 6 a year ago."Hobbs Act" under Tit le 18 U.S.C Section 1951 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 4 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in prosecutions—up 133.3 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956 that involves " Laundering of monetary instruments ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—160 percent—was registered for prosecutions under " Bribery of public officials and witnesses " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 66.7 percent—was Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 72.7 percent—was for filings where the lead charge was " Misappropriation of postal funds " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1711 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In September 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 23.1 official corruption prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita 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 per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3. Districts must have at least 5 official corruption prosecutions to receive a ranking.


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Cal, C 169 26 1 9 19 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The Central District of California (Los Angeles)—with 169 prosecutions as compared with 23.1 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during September 2013. The Central District of California (Los Angeles) was ranked 9 a year ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of official corruption prosecutions compared to one year ago— 437.5 percent—was Central District of California (Los Angeles). This was the same district that had the largest increase— 760 percent—when compared with five years ago.

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 September 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Guilford, Andrew J. Cal, C 26 1 - 55 More
Bunning, David L. Ken, E 3 2 - - More
Totenberg, Amy Mil Ga, N 2 3 - - More
Ramos, Nelva Gonzales Texas, S 2 3 - - More
Presnell, Gregory A. Fla, M 1 5 - - More
Chappell, Sheri Polster Fla, M 1 5 - - More
Smoak, John Richard, Jr. Fla, N 1 5 27 - More
Moore, Kevin Michael Fla, S 1 5 - - More
Jones, Steve CarMichael Ga, N 1 5 3 - More
Reinhard, Philip Godfrey Ill, N 1 5 - - More
Reagan, Michael Joseph Ill, S 1 5 - - More
Magnus-Stinson, Jane Elizabeth Ind, S 1 5 - - More
Feldman, Martin Leach-Cross La, E 1 5 - 55 More
Torresen, Nancy Maine 1 5 - - More
Russell, George Levi, III Maryland 1 5 - - More
Saylor, F. Dennis, IV Mass 1 5 48 - More
Hillman, Timothy S. Mass 1 5 48 - More
Fenner, Gary A. Mo, W 1 5 48 55 More
Forrest, Katherine Bolan N. Y., S 1 5 - - More
Strom, Lyle Elmer Nebraska 1 5 - - More
Boyko, Christopher A. Ohio, N 1 5 - - More
Heaton, Joe L. Okla, W 1 5 48 55 More
Simon, Michael Howard Oregon 1 5 - - More
McConnell, John James, Jr. R. I. 1 5 48 - More
Mays, Samuel H., Jr. Tenn, W 1 5 - - More
Cummings, Samuel Ray Texas, N 1 5 8 6 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 1 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption filings per capita, while the remaining 25 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 26 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Andrew J. Guilford in the Central District of California (Los Angeles) ranked 1st with 26 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judge David L. Bunning in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) ranked 2nd with 3 defendants in official corruption cases.

  • Judges Amy Mil Totenberg in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta) and Nelva Gonzales Ramos in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 3rd with 2 defendants in official corruption cases.

Report Generated: November 25, 2013
TRAC Copyright
Copyright 2013, TRAC Reports, Inc.

TRAC RSS Feed for this page Email Feed for this page Email this page