Government Regulatory Prosecutions for May 2013
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during May 2013 the government reported 257 new government regulatory prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 10.8% 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 up (20.3 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 9.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.
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
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 May 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 64.2 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (19.8%), "
Customs-Currency Violations" (5.4%), "Money Laundering-Other" (5.4%), "Export Enforcement General" (2.7%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for government regulatory prosecutions in May 2013
was Interior accounting for 57 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory referrals were:
SecServ (18% ), DHS (8%), Agri (4%), IRS (3%).
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 May 2013, 175 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 May the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge
for 22.3 percent of all magistrate filings in May.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 19 - Petty Offense Defined" (20%), "36 CFR 2.10d - Improper Food Storage" (5.1%).
Government Regulatory Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In May 2013, 82 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during May there
were an additional 19 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 May.
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 May 2013.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"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 1 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 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd were "Exporting and importing monetary instruments(" under Title 31 U.S.C Section 5316 and "Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States" under Title 31 U.S.C Section 5332.
"Exporting and importing monetary instruments(" under Title 31 U.S.C Section 5316 was ranked 9 a year ago, while it was ranked 6 five years ago."Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States" under Title 31 U.S.C Section 5332 was ranked 7 a year ago
, while it was ranked 10 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 300 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201
that involves " Attempt to evade or defeat tax
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—200 percent—was registered for
prosecutions under " Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States
" (Title 31 U.S.C Section 5332 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 46.3 percent—was
Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US
(Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 ).
This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 48.2 %—when compared with five years ago.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In May 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 39.5 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.
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)
The Southern District of Florida (Miami)—with 378 prosecutions as compared with 39.5 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during May 2013.
The Southern District of Florida (Miami) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 for most frequent use five years ago.
The Middle District of Georgia (Macon) ranked 2nd.
Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) is now ranking 3rd.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Southern District of Texas (Houston), now ranked
, and Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland)
In the same order, these districts ranked 13th and 19th one year ago and 22nd and 32nd five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of government regulatory prosecutions compared to one year ago— 62.5 percent—was
Southern District of Texas (Houston).
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 166.7 percent—was
Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland).
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 May 2013 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 8 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 11 judges were from other districts.
(Because of ties, there were a total of 19 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge William J. Zloch in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 1st with 8 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Judge Hugh Lawson in the Middle District of Georgia (Macon) ranked 2nd with 6 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Judge Donald L. Graham in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 3rd with 5 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Report Generated: July 22, 2013