Government Regulatory Convictions for October 2012

Number Latest Month 195
Percent Change from previous month -35.6
Percent Change from 1 year ago -4.8
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -5.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -22.2
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2012 the government reported 195 new government regulatory convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 35.6% 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 2012 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-4.8 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 5.6 percent from levels reported in 2007.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in government regulatory convictions

The leveling out 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 October 2012 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 62.6 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (17.4%), " Money Laundering-Other" (6.7%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (6.2%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (3.6%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for government regulatory convictions in October 2012 was Interior accounting for 53 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory convictions were: SecServ (17% ), DHS (10%), Agri (6%), IRS (6%). 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 October 2012, 108 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 October the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge for 29.6 percent of all magistrate convictions in October.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 19 - Petty Offense Defined" (9.3%), "36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance" (7.4%), "36 CFR 2.10d - Improper Food Storage" (6.5%).

Government Regulatory Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In October 2012, 87 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during October 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 October.

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 October 2012.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 472 - Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities 15 1 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 14 2 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 7 3 More
18 USC 471 - Obligations or securities of United States 7 3 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 4 5 More
36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance 4 5 More
18 USC 2342 - Trafficking in contraband cigarettes Unlawful acts 3 7 More
31 USC 5316 - Exporting and importing monetary instruments( 3 7 More
16 USC 470 - Archeological Resource Protection 2 9 More
18 USC 113 - Assaults within maritime and territorial jurisdictions 2 9 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 2 9 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 2 9 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 2 9 More
18 USC 2320 - Trafficking in counterfeit goods or services 2 9 More
31 USC 5322 - Monetary transactions - Criminal penalties 2 9 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 2 9 More
31 USC 5332 - Bulk Cash Smuggling into or out of the United States 2 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 "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 and "Obligations or securities of United States" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 471.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2012 the Justice Department said the government obtained 34 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  
N. Y., E 7 1 More
Penn, E 7 1 More
Wyoming 7 1 More
Texas, S 6 4 More
Ill, N 5 5 More
S Car 5 5 More
Colorado 4 7 More
Arizona 3 8 More
Fla, S 3 8 More
Cal, C 2 10 More
Cal, N 2 10 More
Cal, S 2 10 More
Delaware 2 10 More
Fla, M 2 10 More
Idaho 2 10 More
Kansas 2 10 More
Maine 2 10 More
Mich, E 2 10 More
N. J. 2 10 More
Texas, N 2 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and District of Wyoming—with 7 convictions—were the most active during October 2012.

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 October 2012 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Guzman, Ronald A. Ill, N 4 1 More
Gleeson, John N. Y., E 3 2 More
Brody, Anita Blumstein Penn, E 3 2 More
Rainey, John David Texas, S 3 2 More
Davila, Edward John Cal, N 2 5 More
West, David L. Colorado 2 5 More
Marra, Kenneth A. Fla, S 2 5 More
Winmill, B. Lynn Idaho 2 5 More
Hornby, David Brock Maine 2 5 More
McLaughlin, Mary A. Penn, E 2 5 More
Anderson, George Ross, Jr. S Car 2 5 More
Wooten, Terry L. S Car 2 5 More
Cummings, Samuel Ray Texas, N 2 5 More
Gist, Richard D. Wyoming 2 5 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 14 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 14 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Ronald A. Guzman in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) ranked 1st with 4 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

  • Judges John Gleeson in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), Anita Blumstein Brody in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and John David Rainey in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in government regulatory convictions.

Report Generated: February 6, 2013
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