Government Regulatory Prosecutions for September 2013
Table 1: Criminal Government Regulatory Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during September 2013 the government reported 284 new government regulatory prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 35.2% 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 (26.3 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 13.1 percent from levels reported in 2008.
The growth 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 increase in
government regulatory prosecutions is 2.3 percent instead of 13.1 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.
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 September 2013 was for "Other-Regulatory Offenses", accounting for 66.9 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Counterfeiting and Forgery" (12.7%), "
Export Enforcement General" (7.7%), "Customs-Currency Violations" (4.9%), "Money Laundering-Other" (3.2%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (2.1%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for government regulatory prosecutions in September 2013
was Interior accounting for 61 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of government regulatory referrals were:
DHS (16% ), SecServ (12%), Agri (4%), IRS (2%).
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 September 2013, 193 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 September the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 36 U.S.C Section . involving the "Speeding". This was the lead charge
for 21.8 percent of all magistrate filings in September.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "36 CFR 2.35b2 - Possession of a controlled substance" (17.1%), "18 USC 19 - Petty Offense Defined" (6.2%), "Other US Code Section" (5.2%).
Government Regulatory Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In September 2013, 91 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during September there
were an additional 24 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 September.
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 September 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 "International Emergency Economic Powers" under Title 50 U.S.C Section 1705.
Ranked 3rd was "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371.
"Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 366.7 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 50 U.S.C Section 1705
that involves " International Emergency Economic Powers
This was the same statute that had the largest increase—1300 %—when compared with five years ago.
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 51.4 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— 53.4 %—when compared with five years ago.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In September 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 45 government regulatory prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the 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 of this type last month are shown in Table 3.
Table 3: Top 10 districts
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 September 2013 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 14 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of government regulatory filings , while the remaining 1 judges were from other districts.
(Because of ties, there were a total of 15 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) ranked 1st with 11 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Judge John E. Steele in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 2nd with 7 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Judges William Harold Albritton, III in the Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery), Susan C. Bucklew in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) and Robin S. Rosenbaum in the Southern District of Florida (Miami)
ranked 3rd with 5 defendants in government regulatory cases.
Report Generated: November 25, 2013