Prosecutions for March 2013

Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Number Latest Month 161
Percent Change from previous month 1.3
Percent Change from 1 year ago 42.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 53.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 49.9
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2013 the government reported 161 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 1.3% 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 (42.5 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 53.2 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 March 2013 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 36 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (30.4%), " Money Laundering-Other" (8.7%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (4.3%), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (3.7%), "Fraud-Other" (3.7%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (3.1%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (3.1%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In March 2013, 12 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 March the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1512 involving the "Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant". This was the lead charge for 16.7 percent of all magistrate filings in March.

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In March 2013, 149 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during March there were an additional 8 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 March.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

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

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 26 1 2 2 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 13 2 4 3 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 12 3 3 5 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 10 4 7 8 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 8 5 14 7 More
26 USC 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax 8 5 1 1 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 7 7 19 14 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 5 8 5 6 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 3 9 15 - More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 3 9 28 27 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 3 9 6 4 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 3 9 10 12 More
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 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371. "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "False, fictitious or fraudulent claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 287. "False, fictitious or fraudulent claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 287 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in prosecutions—up 800 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—650 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 72.2 percent—was Attempt and conspiracy (Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 ). This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 44.4 %—when compared with five years ago.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In March 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 61.4 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  
Alaska 11 1 More
Cal, C 11 1 More
Ala, M 7 3 More
Texas, S 7 3 More
Cal, N 6 5 More
Fla, M 5 6 More
Fla, S 5 6 More
Ga, N 5 6 More
Kansas 5 6 More
N. J. 5 6 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The District of Alaska and Central District of California (Los Angeles)—with 11 prosecutions—were the most active during March 2013.

  • Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery) and Southern District of Texas (Houston) 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 March 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Beistline, Ralph R. Alaska 10 1 More
Hernandez, Marco Antonio Oregon 4 2 More
Nuffer, David Utah 4 2 More
Fuller, Mark E. Ala, M 3 4 More
Seeborg, Richard G. Cal, N 3 4 More
King, Janet F. Ga, N 3 4 More
Rambo, Sylvia H. Penn, M 3 4 More
Varlan, Thomas A. Tenn, E 3 4 More
Atlas, Nancy Friedman Texas, S 3 4 More
Hoyt, Kenneth M. Texas, S 3 4 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 6 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings , while the remaining 4 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Ralph R. Beistline in the District of Alaska ranked 1st with 10 defendants in cases.

  • Judges Marco Antonio Hernandez in the District of Oregon and David Nuffer in the District of Utah ranked 2nd with 4 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: May 9, 2013
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