Prosecutions for December 2012
Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during December 2012 the government reported 213 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 71.8% 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 up (27.7 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 68.3 percent from levels reported in 2007.
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 December 2012 was for "Theft-Government Property", accounting for 39.4 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (23%), "
Fraud-Tax" (18.3%), "Money Laundering-Other" (3.3%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (2.3%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In December 2012, 20 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 December the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956 involving the "Laundering of monetary instruments". This was the lead charge
for 35 percent of all magistrate filings in December.
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In December 2012, 193 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during December there
were an additional 9 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 December.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during December 2012referred by the Internal Revenue Service.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"Public money, property or records" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 641) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
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 1 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Fraud and False statements" under Title 26 U.S.C Section 7206.
"Fraud and False statements" under Title 26 U.S.C Section 7206 was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 2350 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 641
that involves " Public money, property or records
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—800 percent—was registered for
prosecutions under " Fraud and related activity - access devices
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1029 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 32.4 percent—was
Laundering of monetary instruments
(Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956 ).
This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 54.5 %—when compared with five years ago.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In December 2012 the Justice Department said the government brought 79 prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita 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 per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 prosecutions to receive a ranking.
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)
The Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth)—with 376 prosecutions as compared with 79 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during December 2012.
The Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 2nd.
Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) is now ranking 3rd.
The Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) was ranked 7 a year ago.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Eastern District of California (Sacramento), now ranked
, and Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth)
In the same order, these districts ranked 13th and 14th one year ago and 3rd and 5th five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of prosecutions compared to one year ago— 375 percent—was
Southern District of Texas (Houston).
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 544.4 percent—was
Southern District of Florida (Miami).
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 December 2012 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 3 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings per capita, while the remaining 8 judges were from other districts.
(Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Sam A. Lindsay in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 1st with 20 defendants in cases.
Judge Jay A. Garcia-Gregory in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 2nd with 15 defendants in cases.
Judge Jose Antonio Fuste in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 3rd with 13 defendants in cases.
Report Generated: February 20, 2013