Prosecutions for July 2012
Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during July 2012 the government reported 133 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 1.5% 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 (8.8 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 11.6 percent from levels reported in 2007.
The growth 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 increase in
prosecutions is 7.8 percent instead of 11.6 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 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 July 2012 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 60.9 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (14.3%), "
Money Laundering-Other" (5.3%), "Fraud-Other Business" (3.8%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (2.3%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (2.3%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In July 2012, 15 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 July the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201 involving the "Attempt to evade or defeat tax". This was the lead charge
for 33.3 percent of all magistrate filings in July.
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In July 2012, 118 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during July there
were an additional 4 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 July.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during July 2012referred 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.
"Fraud and False statements" (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7206) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 286.
"Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 286 was ranked 9 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "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 2 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 152.2 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 286
that involves " Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—400 percent—was registered for
prosecutions under " Fraud by wire, radio, or television
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 50 percent—was
(Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 41.5 percent—was
for filings where the lead charge was " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In July 2012 the Justice Department said the government brought 47.7 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 Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)—with 10 prosecutions—was the most active during July 2012.
The Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis) ranked 2nd.
Central District of California (Los Angeles) is 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 July 2012 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 13 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings , while the remaining 12 judges were from other districts.
(Because of ties, there were a total of 25 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judges William Donald Stiehl in the Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis) and Paul Steven Diamond in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) ranked 1st with 8 defendants in cases.
Judge Simeon Timothy Lake, III in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 3rd with 5 defendants in cases.
Report Generated: October 1, 2012