Government Regulatory Convictions for May 2013

Number Latest Month 192
Percent Change from previous month -7.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago -7.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -13.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -9.8
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during May 2013 the government reported 192 new government regulatory convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 7.7% 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 (-7.9 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 13.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

The dip in these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall decrease in government regulatory convictions is 9.8 percent instead of 13.9 percent. The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases by the Justice Department.

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 May 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 50.5 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (25.5%), " Money Laundering-Other" (5.7%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (5.2%), "Customs-Duty Violations" (3.6%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (3.6%), "Export Enforcement General" (3.1%), "Contraband Cigarettes-Trafficking in" (2.6%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for government regulatory convictions in May 2013 was Interior accounting for 41 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory convictions were: SecServ (23% ), DHS (15%), Agri (5%), HHS (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 May 2013, 89 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 25.8 percent of all magistrate convictions in May.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "16 USC 45 - Violations of park regulations; penalty" (9%), "Other US Code Section" (6.7%), "18 USC 7 - Special Maritime/Territorial Jurisdiction of US" (5.6%), " 36 CFR 4.22b3 - Fail control motor vehicle avoid danger to person/property/wildlife" (5.6%).

Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In May 2013, 103 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during May 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 May.

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 May 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities 18 1 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 14 2 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 9 3 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 7 4 More
18 USC 471 - Obligations or securities of United States 6 5 More
21 USC 331 - Fed Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act - Prohibited acts 6 5 More
31 USC 5316 - Exporting and importing monetary instruments( 6 5 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 4 8 More
18 USC 501 - Postage stamps, meter stamps, and cards 3 9 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 3 9 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.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States" under Title 31 U.S.C Section 5332.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In May 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 40.3 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 17 1 More
Penn, E 9 2 More
Fla, M 8 3 More
Cal, S 6 4 More
Okla, E 4 5 More
Texas, S 4 5 More
Ala, M 3 7 More
Ohio, N 3 7 More
Conn 2 9 More
Ill, N 2 9 More
Ill, S 2 9 More
Ken, E 2 9 More
Ken, W 2 9 More
Mo, E 2 9 More
Mo, W 2 9 More
N Car, E 2 9 More
N Car, M 2 9 More
Okla, W 2 9 More
Tenn, M 2 9 More
Texas, W 2 9 More
Wash, W 2 9 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Southern District of Florida (Miami)—with 17 convictions—was the most active during May 2013.

  • The Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) ranked 2nd.

  • Middle District of Florida (Tampa) 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 May 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 6 1 More
Altonaga, Cecilia M. Fla, S 4 2 More
White, Ronald A. Okla, E 4 2 More
Fuller, Mark E. Ala, M 3 4 More
Sammartino, Janis Lynn Cal, S 3 4 More
Curiel, Gonzalo Paul Cal, S 2 6 More
Corrigan, Timothy J. Fla, M 2 6 More
Dalton, Roy Bale, Jr. Fla, M 2 6 More
Bunning, David L. Ken, E 2 6 More
McKinley, Joseph H., Jr. Ken, W 2 6 More
Fenner, Gary A. Mo, W 2 6 More
Baylson, Michael M. Penn, E 2 6 More
Pratter, Gene E.K. Penn, E 2 6 More
Hoyt, Kenneth M. Texas, S 2 6 More
Garcia, Orlando Luis Texas, W 2 6 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 15 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 15 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Robert Nichols Scola, Jr. in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 1st with 6 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

  • Judges Cecilia M. Altonaga in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) and Ronald A. White in the Eastern District of Oklahoma (Muskogee) ranked 2nd with 4 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

Report Generated: July 22, 2013
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