Convictions for October 2012

Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Number Latest Month 103
Percent Change from previous month -4.6
Percent Change from 1 year ago -3.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -3.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -1.9
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2012 the government reported 103 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 down 4.6% 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 2012 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-3.6 percent). 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 3 percent from levels reported in 2007.

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 1.9 percent instead of 3 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.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

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 October 2012 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 43.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (9.7%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (9.7%), "Money Laundering-Other" (7.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (6.8%), "Fraud-Other" (3.9%), "Money Laundering-Drug" (3.9%), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (2.9%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (2.9%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In October 2012, 2 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 October the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 26 U.S.C Section 7206 involving the "Fraud and False statements". This was the lead charge for 50 percent of all magistrate convictions in October.

Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In October 2012, 101 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during October 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 October.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during October 2012referred by the Internal Revenue Service.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 21 1 6 3 More
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 13 2 2 1 More
26 USC 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax 11 3 1 2 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 8 4 18 - More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 6 5 8 11 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 5 6 7 4 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 5 6 5 5 More
26 USC 7202 - Willful failure to collect or pay over tax 4 8 10 15 More
26 USC 7203 - Willful failure to file return, supply information 4 8 12 7 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 3 10 3 6 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "Laundering of monetary instruments" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. "Laundering of monetary instruments" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956) was ranked 6 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 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 1 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 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions—up 116.7 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 that involves " Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—200 percent—was registered for convictions under " Willful failure to collect or pay over tax " (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7202 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 31.5 percent—was Attempt to evade or defeat tax (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7201 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 30.8 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Willful failure to file return, supply information " (Title 26 U.S.C Section 7203 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2012 the Justice Department said the government obtained 39.5 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.


Judicial District Count Rank  
Nevada 8 1 More
Cal, S 7 2 More
Fla, S 7 2 More
Minnesota 6 4 More
Ohio, S 6 4 More
Ill, N 5 6 More
N. J. 4 7 More
Texas, N 4 7 More
Ala, M 3 9 More
Cal, E 3 9 More
Ohio, N 3 9 More
Penn, E 3 9 More
Wisc, E 3 9 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The District of Nevada—with 8 convictions—was the most active during October 2012.

  • The Southern District of California (San Diego) and Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 2nd.

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 October 2012 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Hunt, Roger L. Nevada 8 1 More
Burns, Larry Alan Cal, S 7 2 More
Guzman, Ronald A. Ill, N 4 3 More
Watkins, William Keith Ala, M 3 4 More
Montgomery, Ann D. Minnesota 3 4 More
England, Morrison C., Jr. Cal, E 2 6 More
Williams, Kathleen Mary Fla, S 2 6 More
Winmill, B. Lynn Idaho 2 6 More
Gaughan, Patricia Anne Ohio, N 2 6 More
Frost, Gregory L. Ohio, S 2 6 More
Black, Timothy Seymour Ohio, S 2 6 More
Gardner, James Knoll Penn, E 2 6 More
Smith, Walter Scott, Jr. Texas, W 2 6 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 11 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions , while the remaining 2 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 13 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Roger L. Hunt in the District of Nevada ranked 1st with 8 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Larry Alan Burns in the Southern District of California (San Diego) ranked 2nd with 7 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Ronald A. Guzman in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) ranked 3rd with 4 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: February 6, 2013
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