Government Regulatory Convictions for July 2013

Number Latest Month 156
Percent Change from previous month -10.3
Percent Change from 1 year ago -1.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -19.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -21.8
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during July 2013 the government reported 156 new government regulatory convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 10.3% 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 only slightly down (-1.1 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 19.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

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

  • 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 July 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 48.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (28.8%), " Money Laundering-Other" (7.1%), "Contraband Cigarettes-Trafficking in" (5.1%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (4.5%), "Export Enforcement General" (3.2%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for government regulatory convictions in July 2013 was Interior accounting for 44 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory convictions were: SecServ (23% ), DHS (11%), ATF (4%), IRS (4%). 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 July 2013, 72 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 July the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge for 22.2 percent of all magistrate convictions in July.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance" (13.9%), "18 USC 19 - Petty Offense Defined" (8.3%), "36 CFR 2.35a2ii - Possession of alcohol by a minor" (6.9%).

Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In July 2013, 84 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during July 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 July.

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 July 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 471 - Obligations or securities of United States 15 1 More
18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities 8 2 More
18 USC 2342 - Trafficking in contraband cigarettes Unlawful acts 8 2 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 7 4 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 4 5 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 4 5 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 4 5 More
18 USC 554 - Smuggling goods from the United States 3 8 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 3 8 More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 2 10 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 2 10 More
18 USC 2320 - Trafficking in counterfeit goods or services 2 10 More
31 USC 5313 - Reports on domestic coins and currency transaction 2 10 More
31 USC 5316 - Exporting and importing monetary instruments( 2 10 More
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 were the lead charges "Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 472 and "Trafficking in contraband cigarettes Unlawful acts" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 2342.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In July 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 32.8 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  
Wisc, E 6 1 More
Maryland 5 2 More
Fla, S 4 3 More
La, W 4 3 More
N Car, W 4 3 More
Ohio, N 4 3 More
S Car 4 3 More
Texas, S 4 3 More
Mo, E 3 9 More
Cal, E 2 10 More
Colorado 2 10 More
Ill, N 2 10 More
Ken, E 2 10 More
N. J. 2 10 More
Nebraska 2 10 More
S Dakota 2 10 More
Tenn, E 2 10 More
Texas, N 2 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Eastern District of Wisconsin (Milwaukee)—with 6 convictions—was the most active during July 2013.

  • The District of Maryland ranked 2nd.

  • Southern District of Florida (Miami), Western District of Louisiana (Shreveport), Western District of North Carolina (Asheville), Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland), District of South Carolina and Southern District of Texas (Houston) 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 July 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Adelman, Lynn S. Wisc, E 6 1 More
Quarles, William D., Jr. Maryland 3 2 More
Reidinger, Martin Karl N Car, W 3 2 More
Martinez, William Joseph Colorado 2 4 More
Zloch, William J. Fla, S 2 4 More
Stagg, Thomas E., Jr. La, W 2 4 More
Foote, Elizabeth Erny La, W 2 4 More
Russell, George Levi, III Maryland 2 4 More
Sippel, Rodney W. Mo, E 2 4 More
Lioi, Sara Elizabeth Ohio, N 2 4 More
Harwell, Robert Bryan S Car 2 4 More
Schreier, Karen E. S Dakota 2 4 More
Hanen, Andrew S. Texas, S 2 4 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 13 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of government regulatory convictions . (Because of ties, there were a total of 13 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Lynn S. Adelman in the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) ranked 1st with 6 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

  • Judges William D. Quarles, Jr. in the District of Maryland and Martin Karl Reidinger in the Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

Report Generated: September 23, 2013
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