Government Regulatory Prosecutions for June 2013

Number Latest Month 207
Percent Change from previous month -19.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago 31.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 8.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -15.9
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during June 2013 the government reported 207 new government regulatory prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 19.5% 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 up (31.4 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 8.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in government regulatory prosecutions

The increase 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

  • 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 prosecutions of these matters in June 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 39.1 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (21.7%), " Customs-Currency Violations" (19.8%), "Money Laundering-Other" (11.6%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (5.3%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for government regulatory prosecutions in June 2013 was Interior accounting for 33 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory referrals were: SecServ (21% ), FBI (19%), DHS (11%), IRS (6%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3: Prosecutions by investigative agency

Government Regulatory Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In June 2013, 99 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 June the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge for 15.2 percent of all magistrate filings in June.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance" (10.1%), "18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" (9.1%), "36 CFR 2.35a2ii - Possession of alcohol by a minor " (6.1%), "18 USC 19 - Petty Offense Defined" (5.1%), "18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" (5.1%), "36 CFR 2.35c - Presence in park area under influence of alcohol/control substance" (5.1%), " 36 CFR 4.22b1 - Operating motor vehicle without due care/unreasonable speed" (5.1%).

Government Regulatory Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In June 2013, 108 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during June there were an additional 20 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 June.

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 June 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 1033 - Insurance Fraud 28 1 - - More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 24 2 5 4 More
18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities 19 3 2 1 More
18 USC 471 - Obligations or securities of United States 13 4 3 3 More
18 USC 2320 - Trafficking in counterfeit goods or services 6 5 12 8 More
36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance 5 6 15 14 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 4 7 4 5 More
18 USC 554 - Smuggling goods from the United States 3 8 15 28 More
21 USC 331 - Fed Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act - Prohibited acts 3 8 10 50 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 3 8 8 11 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "Insurance Fraud" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1033) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • 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 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 4 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "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 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in prosecutions—up 108.7 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 31 U.S.C Section 5332 that involves " Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—300 percent—was registered for prosecutions under " Fed Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act - Prohibited acts " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 331 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 69.2 percent—was Fed Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act - Prohibited acts (Title 21 U.S.C Section 331 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 62.2 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 June 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 50 government regulatory prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita 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 per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3. Districts must have at least 5 government regulatory prosecutions to receive a ranking.


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Wyoming 1,102 5 1 12 9 More
Fla, S 612 34 2 2 3 More
Ga, M 303 5 3 24 - More
Mo, W 195 5 4 - 50 More
N. Y., S 187 8 5 27 17 More
Ohio, N 144 7 6 30 50 More
Fla, M 59 5 7 6 5 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Wyoming—with 1102 prosecutions as compared with 50 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during June 2013.

  • The Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 2nd. The Southern District of Florida (Miami) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • Middle District of Georgia (Macon) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Wyoming , now ranked 1st , and Middle District of Georgia (Macon) at 3rd In the same order, these districts ranked 12th and 24th one year ago and 9th and .th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of government regulatory prosecutions compared to one year ago— 214.3 percent—was Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland). This was the same district that had the largest increase— 450 percent—when compared with five years ago.

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 June 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Marra, Kenneth A. Fla, S 28 1 13 - More
Cote, Denise L. N. Y., S 8 2 43 - More
Royal, C. Ashley Ga, M 5 3 135 - More
Fenner, Gary A. Mo, W 5 3 - - More
Adams, John R. Ohio, N 5 3 - - More
Steele, John E. Fla, M 4 6 135 28 More
Rosenbaum, Robin S. Fla, S 3 7 - - More
Russell, Thomas B. Ken, W 3 7 - 20 More
Hamilton, Jean Constance Mo, E 3 7 - 83 More
Greer, J. Ronnie Tenn, E 3 7 135 - More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

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 per capita, while the remaining 3 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Kenneth A. Marra in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 1st with 28 defendants in government regulatory cases.

  • Judge Denise L. Cote in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 2nd with 8 defendants in government regulatory cases.

  • Judges C. Ashley Royal in the Middle District of Georgia (Macon), Gary A. Fenner in the Western District of Missouri (Kansas City) and John R. Adams in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 3rd with 5 defendants in government regulatory cases.

Report Generated: August 20, 2013
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