Prosecutions for December 2017

Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Number Latest Month 52
Percent Change from previous month -23.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago -23.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
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.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

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.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

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.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 7 1 More
26 USC 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax 6 2 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 3 3 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 2 4 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 2 4 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 1 6 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 1 6 More
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 1 6 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 1 6 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 1 6 More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 1 6 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 1 6 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 1 6 More
18 USC 1957 - Monetary transactions w/property from unlawful act 1 6 More
26 USC 7202 - Willful failure to collect or pay over tax 1 6 More
26 USC 7203 - Willful failure to file return, supply information 1 6 More
26 USC 7205 - Fraudulent withholding exemption certificate or fa 1 6 More
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.

Judicial District Count Rank  
N Car, E 5 1 More
Texas, S 5 1 More
N. J. 3 3 More
Wisc, W 3 3 More
Kansas 2 5 More
La, E 2 5 More
Minnesota 2 5 More
New Hamp 2 5 More
Virg, E 2 5 More
Wisc, E 2 5 More
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.

Judge Count Rank  
Boyle, Terrence William N Car, E 5 1 More
McAuliffe, Steven J. New Hamp 2 2 More
Atlas, Nancy Friedman Texas, S 2 2 More
Adelman, Lynn S. Wisc, E 2 2 More
Conley, William Martin Wisc, W 2 2 More
Illston, Susan Yvonne Cal, N 1 6 More
Moore, Kevin Michael Fla, S 1 6 More
Cohen, Mark Howard Ga, N 1 6 More
Hall, James Randal Ga, S 1 6 More
Moody, James Tyne Ind, N 1 6 More
Feldman, Martin Leach-Cross La, E 1 6 More
Doty, David Singleton Minnesota 1 6 More
Ericksen, Joan N. Minnesota 1 6 More
Ketchmark, Roseann Ambrosia Mo, W 1 6 More
Conrad, Robert James, Jr. N Car, W 1 6 More
Bumb, Renee Marie N. J. 1 6 More
Hillman, Noel Lawrence N. J. 1 6 More
Kugler, Robert B. N. J. 1 6 More
McAvoy, Thomas James N. Y., N 1 6 More
Larimer, David G. N. Y., W 1 6 More
Gaughan, Patricia Anne Ohio, N 1 6 More
Hernandez, Marco Antonio Oregon 1 6 More
Mitchell, K. Nicole Texas, E 1 6 More
Hittner, David Texas, S 1 6 More
Lake, Simeon Timothy, III Texas, S 1 6 More
Rosenthal, Lee Hyman Texas, S 1 6 More
Doumar, Robert George Virg, E 1 6 More
Davis, Mark Steven Virg, E 1 6 More
Urbanski, Michael Francis Virg, W 1 6 More
Groh, Gina Marie W Virg, N 1 6 More
Martinez, Ricardo S. Wash, W 1 6 More
Peterson, James Donald Wisc, W 1 6 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

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
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