Official Corruption Prosecutions for September 2013
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.
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
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.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
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.
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.
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)
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.
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