Convictions for December 2017
Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service
Table 1. Criminal Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during December 2017 the government reported 72 new convictions 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 4.3 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted 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 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-4.8%).
Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 1.7 percent from levels reported in 2012.
The leveling out 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 decrease in
convictions is 0.5 percent instead of 1.7 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 Convictions
The leveling out from the levels five years ago in convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of convictions 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 convictions of these matters in December 2017 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 52.8 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Fraud-Other" (8.3%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (8.3%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (5.6%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local" (2.8%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (2.8%), "Fraud-Other Investment" (2.8%), "Money Laundering-Other" (2.8%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.8%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions
Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In December 2017, no 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.
Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In December 2017, 72 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during December there
were an additional 0 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 convictions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during December 2017 referred by the Internal Revenue Service.
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions
"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 "False, fictitious or fraudulent claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 287.
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 obtained 26.7 convictions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the number of convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of convictions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts
The Middle District of Florida (Tampa) and Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) — with 6 convictions — were the most active during December 2017.
District of New Jersey and District of Oregon 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 resulting in convictions of this type during December 2017 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 39 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions , while the remaining 22 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 61 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judges Elizabeth Ann Wolford in the Western District of New York (Buffalo) and Norman K. Moon in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 1st with 3 convicted in convictions.
Judges G. Murray Snow in the District of Arizona, Steve CarMichael Jones in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), Robert Edward Jones in the District of Oregon and Pamela Pepper in the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) ranked 3rd with 2 convicted in convictions.
Report Generated: January 24, 2018