Prosecutions for December 2017
Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service
Table 1. Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during December 2017 the government reported 52 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 down 23.5 percent 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 2017 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-23%).
Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 52.7 percent from levels reported in 2012.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Prosecutions
The decrease 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 2017 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 40.4 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (34.6%), "Fraud-Other Business" (7.7%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (3.8%), "Fraud-Other" (3.8%), "Theft-Government Property" (3.8%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In December 2017, 3 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 1343 involving "Fraud by wire, radio, or television". This was the lead charge
for 100 percent of all magistrate filings in December.
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In December 2017, 49 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during December there
were an additional 1 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 2017 referred 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.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Attempt to evade or defeat tax" under Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201.
Ranked 3rd was "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In December 2017 the Justice Department said the government brought 18.6 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 Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh) and Southern District of Texas (Houston) — with 5 prosecutions — were the most active during December 2017.
District of New Jersey and Western District of Wisconsin (Madison) are 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 December 2017 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 17 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings , while the remaining 15 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 32 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Terrence William Boyle in the Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh) ranked 1st with 5 defendants in cases.
Judges Steven J. McAuliffe in the District of New Hampshire, Nancy Friedman Atlas in the Southern District of Texas (Houston), Lynn S. Adelman in the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and William Martin Conley in the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison) ranked 2nd with 2 defendants in cases.
Report Generated: January 24, 2018