Government Regulatory Convictions for January 2013

Number Latest Month 177
Percent Change from previous month -5.9
Percent Change from 1 year ago -10.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 7.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -13.1
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2013 the government reported 177 new government regulatory convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 5.9% 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 2013 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-10.4 percent). 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 7.2 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in government regulatory convictions

The leveling out 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 January 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 40.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (32.2%), " Money Laundering-Other" (9.6%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (5.6%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (5.1%), "Customs-Duty Violations" (2.8%), "Export Enforcement General" (2.3%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for government regulatory convictions in January 2013 was Interior accounting for 34 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory convictions were: SecServ (27% ), DHS (16%), FBI (6%), Agri (3%). 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 January 2013, 63 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 January the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge for 28.6 percent of all magistrate convictions in January.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance" (14.3%), "36 CFR 4.22b1 - Operating motor vehicle without due care/unreasonable speed" (9.5%).

Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In January 2013, 114 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January 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 January.

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 January 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities 21 1 2 1 More
18 USC 471 - Obligations or securities of United States 15 2 1 2 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 14 3 4 3 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 11 4 5 13 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 8 5 3 3 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 6 6 6 5 More
31 USC 5316 - Exporting and importing monetary instruments( 3 7 7 7 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 3 7 11 9 More
16 USC 470 - Archeological Resource Protection 2 9 30 16 More
18 USC 545 - Smuggling goods into the United States 2 9 19 - More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 2 9 21 25 More
18 USC 1542 - False statement in application and use of passport 2 9 49 6 More
18 USC 2339 - Harboring or Concealing Terrorists 2 9 - - More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 2 9 - 45 More
22 USC 2778 - Control of arms exports and imports 2 9 16 45 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 1 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "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 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "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.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions—up 100 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1542 that involves " False statement in application and use of passport ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—600 percent—was registered for convictions under " Control of arms exports and imports " (Title 22 U.S.C Section 2778 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 68.6 percent—was Exporting and importing monetary instruments( (Title 31 U.S.C Section 5316 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 92 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " False statement in application and use of passport " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1542 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 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.


Judicial District Count Rank  
Fla, S 10 1 More
Texas, W 9 2 More
Kansas 7 3 More
S Car 7 3 More
N. J. 5 5 More
Arizona 4 6 More
Fla, M 4 6 More
Ohio, S 4 6 More
Virg, E 4 6 More
Ark, E 3 10 More
N. Y., E 3 10 More
Oregon 3 10 More
Penn, W 3 10 More
Texas, E 3 10 More
Texas, N 3 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Southern District of Florida (Miami)—with 10 convictions—was the most active during January 2013.

  • The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd.

  • District of Kansas and District of South Carolina 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 January 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Marten, John Thomas Kansas 6 1 More
Collins, Raner Christercunean Arizona 3 2 More
Moreno, Federico A. Fla, S 3 2 More
Cardone, Kathleen Texas, W 3 2 More
Antoon, John, II Fla, M 2 5 More
Lenard, Joan A. Fla, S 2 5 More
Cohn, James I. Fla, S 2 5 More
Aycock, Sharion Miss, N 2 5 More
Autrey, Henry Edward Mo, E 2 5 More
Molzen, Karen B. N Mexico 2 5 More
Pisano, Joel A. N. J. 2 5 More
Sargus, Edmund A., Jr. Ohio, S 2 5 More
Miles-LaGrange, Vicki Okla, W 2 5 More
Fuste, Jose Antonio Puer Rico 2 5 More
Duffy, Patrick Michael S Car 2 5 More
Schell, Richard A. Texas, E 2 5 More
Montalvo, Frank Texas, W 2 5 More
Trenga, Anthony John Virg, E 2 5 More
Table 4: Top 10 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.)

  • Judge John Thomas Marten in the District of Kansas ranked 1st with 6 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

  • Judges Raner Christercunean Collins in the District of Arizona, Federico A. Moreno in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) and Kathleen Cardone in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

Report Generated: March 5, 2013
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