Prosecutions for February 2013

Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Number Latest Month 157
Percent Change from previous month -6.0
Percent Change from 1 year ago 33.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 58.8
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 55.4
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2013 the government reported 157 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 6% 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 2013 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was up (33.2 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 58.8 percent from levels reported in 2008.

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 February 2013 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 39.5 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (30.6%), " Money Laundering-Other" (5.7%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (3.8%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (3.8%), "Fraud-Other" (3.8%), "Theft-Government Property" (2.5%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In February 2013, 18 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 February the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341 involving the "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles". This was the lead charge for 27.8 percent of all magistrate filings in February.

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In February 2013, 139 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February there were an additional 6 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 February.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during February 2013referred by the Internal Revenue Service.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
26 USC 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax 20 1 1 1 More
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 17 2 2 2 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 13 3 6 3 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 8 4 4 4 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 7 5 7 8 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 6 6 3 5 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 6 6 19 17 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 3 8 12 27 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 2 9 16 - More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 2 9 - - More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 2 9 24 27 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 2 9 15 7 More
26 USC 7202 - Willful failure to collect or pay over tax 2 9 10 12 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 2 9 5 6 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "Attempt to evade or defeat tax" (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. "Attempt to evade or defeat tax" (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "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 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956. "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956 was ranked 6 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in prosecutions—up 960 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—1100 percent—was registered for prosecutions under " Fraud and related activity - id documents " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 63.2 percent—was Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir (Title 31 U.S.C Section 5324 ). This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 36.4 %—when compared with five years ago.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In February 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 56.7 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  
D. C. 1,401 7 1 74 - More
W Virg, S 650 5 2 64 28 More
Fla, S 378 21 3 2 2 More
Ohio, S 147 7 4 3 28 More
N. J. 138 10 5 9 7 More
Cal, C 97 15 6 1 1 More
Fla, M 95 8 7 21 36 More
N. Y., E 87 6 8 7 36 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington)—with 1401 prosecutions as compared with 56.7 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during February 2013.

  • The Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston) ranked 2nd.

  • Southern District of Florida (Miami) is now ranking 3rd. The Southern District of Florida (Miami) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 for most frequent use five years ago.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Middle District of Florida (Tampa), now ranked 7th , and Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston) at 2nd In the same order, these districts ranked 21st and 64th one year ago and 36th and 28th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of prosecutions compared to one year ago— 700 percent—was Washington, D.C. (Washington). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 620 percent—was Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of prosecutions— 32.4 percent—was Southern District of Ohio (Cincinnati).  But over the past five years, showed the largest drop— percent.

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 February 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 14 1 More
Feuerstein, Sandra J. N. Y., E 5 2 More
Huvelle, Ellen Segal D. C. 4 3 More
Treadwell, Marc Thomas Ga, M 3 4 More
Salas, Esther N. J. 3 4 More
Joyner, J. Curtis Penn, E 3 4 More
Velasco, Bernardo P. Arizona 2 7 More
O'Neill, Lawrence Joseph Cal, E 2 7 More
Gonzalez, Irma Elsa Cal, S 2 7 More
Corrigan, Timothy J. Fla, M 2 7 More
Covington, Virginia Maria Hernandez Fla, M 2 7 More
Scriven, Mary Stenson Fla, M 2 7 More
Zloch, William J. Fla, S 2 7 More
Leinenweber, Harry Daniel Ill, N 2 7 More
Thapar, Amul Roger Ken, E 2 7 More
Titus, Roger W. Maryland 2 7 More
Linares, Jose L. N. J. 2 7 More
Wigenton, Susan Davis N. J. 2 7 More
Economus, Peter C. Ohio, S 2 7 More
Rose, Thomas M. Ohio, S 2 7 More
Almond, Lincoln D. R. I. 2 7 More
Haynes, William Joseph, Jr. Tenn, M 2 7 More
Randa, Rudolph Thomas Wisc, E 2 7 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 12 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 11 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 23 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Robert Nichols Scola, Jr. in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 1st with 14 defendants in cases.

  • Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) ranked 2nd with 5 defendants in cases.

  • Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in the District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) ranked 3rd with 4 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: April 23, 2013
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Copyright 2013, TRAC Reports, Inc.

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