Prosecutions for April 2012
Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2012 the government reported 192 new prosecutions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 36.2% over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was only slightly up (0.8 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 10.2 percent from levels reported in 2007.
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
prosecutions is 7.3 percent instead of 10.2 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 prosecutions
The increase from the levels five years ago in prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of 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.
Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in April 2012 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 52.1 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (17.2%), "
Money Laundering-Other" (10.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (3.6%), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (3.1%), "Fraud-Other" (3.1%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In April 2012, 7 defendants
in 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 April the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201 involving the "Attempt to evade or defeat tax". This was the lead charge
for 42.9 percent of all magistrate filings in April.
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In April 2012, 185 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April there
were an additional 3 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 April.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during April 2012referred by the Internal Revenue Service.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"Fraud and False statements" (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7206) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Fraud and False statements" (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7206) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Attempt to evade or defeat tax" under Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201.
"Attempt to evade or defeat tax" under Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 286.
"Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 286 was ranked 8 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 133.3 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 26 U.S.C Section 7202
that involves " Willful failure to collect or pay over tax
This was the same statute that had the largest increase—600 %—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 64.6 percent—was
Attempt and conspiracy
(Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 ).
This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 63 %—when compared with five years ago.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In April 2012 the Justice Department said the government brought 73.5 prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the number of 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
The Western District of New York (Buffalo)—with 14 prosecutions—was the most active during April 2012.
The Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 2nd.
Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) 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 crime cases of this type during April 2012 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 9 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings , while the remaining 2 judges were from other districts.
(Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge William M. Skretny in the Western District of New York (Buffalo) ranked 1st with 14 defendants in cases.
Judge James Parker Jones in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 2nd with 12 defendants in cases.
Judge Myron Herbert Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery) ranked 3rd with 9 defendants in cases.
Report Generated: July 9, 2012