Prosecutions for December 2012

Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Number Latest Month 213
Percent Change from previous month 71.8
Percent Change from 1 year ago 27.7
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 68.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 66.1
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.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

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.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

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.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 86 1 19 - More
26 USC 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax 16 2 2 1 More
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 10 3 1 2 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 7 4 8 9 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 7 4 10 10 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 5 6 17 17 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 5 6 26 27 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 4 8 3 6 More
18 USC 1014 - Fraud - Loan and credit applications etc 3 9 24 20 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 3 9 6 3 More
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.


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Texas, N 376 21 1 14 5 More
N. Y., S 187 8 2 26 23 More
N. Y., E 131 9 3 7 32 More
Fla, S 126 7 4 2 17 More
Cal, E 112 7 5 13 3 More
Texas, S 86 6 6 45 2 More
Cal, N 78 5 7 9 23 More
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 5th , and Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) at 1st 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.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Lindsay, Sam A. Texas, N 20 1 - - More
Garcia-Gregory, Jay A. Puer Rico 15 2 15 - More
Fuste, Jose Antonio Puer Rico 13 3 - - More
Cerezo, Carmen Consuelo Puer Rico 12 4 - - More
Besosa, Francisco Augusto Puer Rico 12 4 - - More
Dominguez, Daniel R. Puer Rico 11 6 - - More
Delgado-Colon, Aida M. Puer Rico 11 6 - - More
Gelpi, Gustavo Antonio, Jr. Puer Rico 10 8 - - More
Cooke, Marcia G. Fla, S 5 9 57 22 More
Wake, Neil Vincent Arizona 4 10 126 - More
Harmon, Melinda Texas, S 4 10 - - More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

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
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