Government Regulatory Convictions for April 2014

Number Latest Month 142
Percent Change from previous month -32.1
Percent Change from 1 year ago -2.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 11.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -8.5
Table 1. Criminal Government Regulatory Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2014 the government reported 142 new government regulatory convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 32.1 percent over 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 2014 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-2.5%). Convictions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 11.4 percent from levels reported in 2009.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Government Regulatory Convictions

The increase 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

  • Copyright Violations

  • 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 2014 was for "Counterfeiting and Forgery", accounting for 33.8 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Other-Regulatory Offenses" (30.3%), " Money Laundering-Other" (16.2%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (7.7%), "Contraband Cigarettes-Trafficking in" (2.8%), "Health and Safety Violations-Employees" (2.8%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (2.8%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for government regulatory convictions in April 2014 was SecServ accounting for 31 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory convictions were: Interior (20% ), DHS (15%), IRS (8%), Agri (6%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3. Convictions by Investigative Agency

Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In April 2014, 36 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 18 U.S.C Section 19 involving "Petty Offense Defined". This was the lead charge for 25 percent of all magistrate convictions in April.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "36 CFR 4.21c - Speeding" (16.7%).

Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2014, 106 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 2014.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities 25 1 2 2 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 13 2 4 3 More
18 USC 471 - Obligations or securities of United States 9 3 1 1 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 8 4 6 10 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 7 5 7 10 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 5 6 3 4 More
18 USC 2320 - Trafficking in counterfeit goods or services 3 7 10 6 More
30 USC 820 - Mine Safety and Health - Penalties 3 7 - 35 More
31 USC 5316 - Exporting and importing monetary instruments( 3 7 10 6 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 2 10 5 5 More
18 USC 545 - Smuggling goods into the United States 2 10 14 18 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 2 10 30 44 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 2 10 10 18 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 2 10 26 23 More
18 USC 1957 - Monetary transactions w/property from unlawful act 2 10 18 25 More
36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance 2 10 8 12 More
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions

  • "Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 472) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. "Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 472) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956. "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956 was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Obligations or securities of United States" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 471. "Obligations or securities of United States" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 471 was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions — up 41.7 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 31 U.S.C Section 5324 that involves " Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 300 percent — was registered for convictions under " Firearms; Unlawful acts " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 922 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 59.6 percent — was " Securities of the States and private entities " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 513 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 38.9 percent — was for convictions where the lead charge was " Trafficking in counterfeit goods or services " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 2320 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2014 the Justice Department said the government obtained 40.5 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.


Judicial District Count Rank  
Fla, S 13 1 More
Fla, M 8 2 More
Penn, M 6 3 More
Texas, W 5 4 More
N. J. 4 5 More
Ohio, N 4 5 More
Wyoming 4 5 More
Arizona 3 8 More
Cal, S 3 8 More
La, E 3 8 More
Mo, E 3 8 More
Penn, E 3 8 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts

  • The Southern District of Florida (Miami) — with 13 convictions — was the most active during April 2014.

  • The Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 2nd.

  • Middle District of Pennsylvania (Scranton) is 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 2014 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Steele, John E. Fla, M 4 1 More
Helmick, Jeffrey James Ohio, N 4 1 More
Hurley, Daniel T. K. Fla, S 3 3 More
Cohn, James I. Fla, S 3 3 More
Conaboy, Richard Paul Penn, M 3 3 More
Lubing, James K. Wyoming 3 3 More
Bury, David C. Arizona 2 7 More
Hickey, Susan Owens Ark, W 2 7 More
Lazzara, Richard A. Fla, M 2 7 More
Corrigan, Timothy J. Fla, M 2 7 More
Gilbert, John Phil Ill, S 2 7 More
Duval, Stanwood R., Jr. La, E 2 7 More
Jackson, Carol E. Mo, E 2 7 More
Cavanaugh, Dennis M. N. J. 2 7 More
Hornak, Mark Raymond Penn, W 2 7 More
Schreier, Karen E. S Dakota 2 7 More
Briones, David Texas, W 2 7 More
Jones, James Parker Virg, W 2 7 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

A total of 13 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 18 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judges John E. Steele in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) and Jeffrey James Helmick in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 1st with 4 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

  • Judges Daniel T. K. Hurley in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), James I. Cohn in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Richard Paul Conaboy in the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Scranton) and James K. Lubing in the District of Wyoming ranked 3rd with 3 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

Report Generated: July 3, 2014
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