Government Regulatory Convictions for March 2013

Number Latest Month 215
Percent Change from previous month 48.3
Percent Change from 1 year ago -18.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -11.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -15.1
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2013 the government reported 215 new government regulatory convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 48.3% 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 down (-18.1 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 11.9 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 March 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 54.4 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (27.4%), " Money Laundering-Other" (6.5%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (5.1%), "Contraband Cigarettes-Trafficking in" (3.3%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for government regulatory convictions in March 2013 was Interior accounting for 40 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory convictions were: SecServ (22% ), DHS (11%), Agri (10%), FBI (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 March 2013, 110 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 March the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge for 28.2 percent of all magistrate convictions in March.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 19 - Petty Offense Defined" (10%), "18 USC 7 - Special Maritime/Territorial Jurisdiction of US" (5.5%), "36 CFR 2.18c - Use of snowmobiles in an undesignated area" (5.5%).

Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In March 2013, 105 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during March 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 March.

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 March 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 471 - Obligations or securities of United States 17 1 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 17 1 More
18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities 10 3 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 8 4 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 6 5 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 6 5 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 5 7 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 4 8 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 4 8 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 4 8 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "Obligations or securities of United States" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 471) and "Securities of the States and private entities" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 513) were the most frequent recorded lead charges.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 472.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In March 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 41 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  
Kansas 8 1 More
Okla, E 8 1 More
Fla, S 7 3 More
Texas, N 6 4 More
La, M 5 5 More
Cal, E 4 6 More
Fla, M 4 6 More
Ga, M 4 6 More
Puer Rico 4 6 More
Arizona 3 10 More
Cal, C 3 10 More
Cal, S 3 10 More
Miss, N 3 10 More
N. Y., E 3 10 More
Oregon 3 10 More
Penn, E 3 10 More
Texas, W 3 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The District of Kansas and Eastern District of Oklahoma (Muskogee)—with 8 convictions—were the most active during March 2013.

  • Southern District of Florida (Miami) 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 March 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
White, Ronald A. Okla, E 8 1 More
Jackson, Brian Anthony La, M 4 2 More
Zipps, Jennifer Guerin Arizona 3 3 More
Melgren, Eric F. Kansas 3 3 More
Biggers, Neal Brooks, Jr. Miss, N 3 3 More
McBryde, John H. Texas, N 3 3 More
Nguyen, Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc Cal, C 2 7 More
Steele, John E. Fla, M 2 7 More
Hurley, Daniel T. K. Fla, S 2 7 More
Zloch, William J. Fla, S 2 7 More
Lawson, Hugh Ga, M 2 7 More
Royal, C. Ashley Ga, M 2 7 More
Belot, Monti L. Kansas 2 7 More
Marten, John Thomas Kansas 2 7 More
Autrey, Henry Edward Mo, E 2 7 More
Irizarry, Dora L. N. Y., E 2 7 More
Pratter, Gene E.K. Penn, E 2 7 More
Fuste, Jose Antonio Puer Rico 2 7 More
Smith, Walter Scott, Jr. Texas, W 2 7 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 18 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 1 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 19 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Ronald A. White in the Eastern District of Oklahoma (Muskogee) ranked 1st with 8 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

  • Judge Brian Anthony Jackson in the Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) ranked 2nd with 4 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

  • Judges Jennifer Guerin Zipps in the District of Arizona, Eric F. Melgren in the District of Kansas, Neal Brooks Biggers, Jr. in the Northern District of Mississippi (Oxford) and John H. McBryde in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 3rd with 3 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

Report Generated: May 9, 2013
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