Government Regulatory Prosecutions for February 2013
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2013 the government reported 177 new government regulatory prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 3.8% over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with 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 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-7.7 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 15 percent from levels reported in 2008.
Figure 1: Monthly trends in government regulatory prosecutions
The decrease from the levels five years ago in government regulatory prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of government regulatory 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 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 prosecutions of these matters in February 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 36.2 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (31.1%), "
Money Laundering-Other" (10.7%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (9.6%), "Customs-Duty Violations" (4%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (4%), "Export Enforcement General" (2.8%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for government regulatory prosecutions in February 2013
was SecServ accounting for 27 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory referrals were:
DHS (24% ), Interior (23%), Agri (8%), IRS (5%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Figure 3: Prosecutions by investigative agency
Government Regulatory Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In February 2013, 87 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 February the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge
for 14.9 percent of all magistrate filings in February.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "Other US Code Section" (5.7%), "18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities" (5.7%), "31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States" (5.7%), "
36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance" (5.7%).
Government Regulatory Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In February 2013, 90 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February there
were an additional 14 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 February.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of government regulatory matters
filed in U.S. District Court during February 2013.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"Obligations or securities of United States" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 471) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Obligations or securities of United States" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 471) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 472.
"Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 472 was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States" under Title 31 U.S.C Section 5332.
"Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States" under Title 31 U.S.C Section 5332 was ranked 5 a year ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 1000 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 641
that involves " Public money, property or records
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—500 percent—was registered for
prosecutions under " Smuggling goods into the United States
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 545 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 60 percent—was
Mine Safety and Health - Penalties
(Title 30 U.S.C Section 820 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 64.7 percent—was
for filings where the lead charge was " Securities of the States and private entities
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 513
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In February 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 40.7 government regulatory prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the number of government regulatory prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of prosecutions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.
Table 3: Top 10 districts
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio)—with 11 prosecutions—was the most active during February 2013.
The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 2nd.
District of Wyoming 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 of this type
during February 2013 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 7 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of government regulatory filings , while the remaining 3 judges were from other districts.
Judge Jon Phipps McCalla in the Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 1st with 6 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Lawrence Joseph O'Neill in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento), Marc Thomas Treadwell in the Middle District of Georgia (Macon), Samuel Frederick Biery, Jr. in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio), Rudolph Thomas Randa in the Eastern Dis
trict of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and James K. Lubing in the District of Wyoming ranked 2nd with 4 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Report Generated: April 23, 2013