Government Regulatory Convictions for April 2013
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2013 the government reported 214 new government regulatory convictions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is the same as in the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for government regulatory-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 down (-14.7 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 14.7 percent from levels reported in 2008.
The dip in
these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases
are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall decrease in
government regulatory convictions is 11.7 percent instead of 14.7 percent.
The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases
by the Justice Department.
Figure 1: Monthly trends in government regulatory convictions
The decrease from the levels five years ago in government regulatory convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of government regulatory 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 government regulatory, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
Case types within government regulatory are
Counterfeiting and Forgery
Customs Violations - Duty
Customs Violations - Currency
Energy Pricing and Related Fraud
Health and Safety Violations - Employees
Health and Safety Violations - General Public
Trafficking in Contraband Cigarettes
Energy Violations - Nuclear Waste Issues
Money Laundering/Structuring (Narcotics)
Money Laundering/Structuring (Other)
Export Enforcement General
Other Government Regulatory Offenses
The largest number of convictions of these matters in April 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 49.1 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (29.9%), "
Money Laundering-Other" (6.5%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (4.7%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (3.7%), "Export Enforcement General" (2.8%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for government regulatory convictions in April 2013
was Interior accounting for 36 percent of convictions.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory convictions were:
SecServ (24% ), DHS (12%), Agri (10%), IRS (4%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of convictions
Figure 3: Convictions by investigative agency
Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In April 2013, 100 defendants
in government regulatory 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 April the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge
for 19 percent of all magistrate convictions in April.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "Other US Code Section" (9%), "36 CFR 2.35a2ii - Possession of alcohol by a minor" (6%), "36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance" (6%), "18 USC 19 - Petty Offense Defined
" (5%), "36 CFR 4.22b3 - Fail control motor vehicle avoid danger to person/property/wildlife" (5%).
Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In April 2013, 114 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April 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 April.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of government regulatory matters
filed in U.S. District Court during April 2013.
Table 2: Top charges for convictions
"Obligations or securities of United States" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 471) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 472.
Ranked 3rd were "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 and "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In April 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 44.6 government regulatory convictions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the number of government regulatory 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.
Table 3: Top 10 districts
The Southern District of Florida (Miami)—with 10 convictions—was the most active during April 2013.
The District of South Carolina ranked 2nd.
Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) and Western District of Texas (San Antonio) 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 government regulatory crime cases resulting in convictions of this type
during April 2013 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 17 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of government regulatory convictions , while the remaining 5 judges were from other districts.
(Because of ties, there were a total of 22 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Walter Scott Smith, Jr. in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 5 convicted in government regulatory convictions.
Judges James I. Cohn in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Robin S. Rosenbaum in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) and Robert Bryan Harwell in the District of South Carolina ranked 2nd with 3 convicted
in government regulatory convictions.
Report Generated: June 10, 2013