Convictions for October 2017

Referring Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Number Latest Month 95
Percent Change from previous month -30.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago -5.7
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2017 the government reported 95 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 30.7 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 (-5.7%). Convictions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 9.5 percent from levels reported in 2012.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Convictions

The increase 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 2017 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 52.6 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (10.5%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (8.4%), "Money Laundering-Other" (7.4%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (5.3%), "Fraud-Other" (5.3%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (3.2%), "Fraud-Federal Procurement" (2.1%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (2.1%). 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 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 October 2017, 95 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 2017 referred by the Internal Revenue Service.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 15 1 More
18 USC 286 - Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims 11 2 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 9 3 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 7 4 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 5 5 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 5 5 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 4 7 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 4 7 More
26 USC 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax 4 7 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 4 7 More
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 "Conspiracy to defraud the Government claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 286.

  • Ranked 3rd was "False, fictitious or fraudulent claims" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 287.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2017 the Justice Department said the government obtained 35.3 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  
Penn, W 7 1 More
Fla, M 6 2 More
Tenn, E 5 3 More
Virg, E 5 3 More
Fla, S 4 5 More
Miss, S 4 5 More
Ohio, S 4 5 More
Penn, E 4 5 More
Ill, N 3 9 More
Minnesota 3 9 More
N. J. 3 9 More
Ohio, N 3 9 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts

  • The Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) — with 7 convictions — was the most active during October 2017.

  • The Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 2nd.

  • Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville) and Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) 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 October 2017 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Greer, J. Ronnie Tenn, E 5 1 More
Watson, Michael H. Ohio, S 3 2 More
Schwab, Arthur J. Penn, W 3 2 More
Jackson, Raymond Alvin Virg, E 3 2 More
Thompson, Myron Herbert Ala, M 2 5 More
Reeves, Carlton Wayne Miss, S 2 5 More
Phillips, Mary Elizabeth Mo, W 2 5 More
Lioi, Sara Elizabeth Ohio, N 2 5 More
Cercone, David S. Penn, W 2 5 More
Trauger, Aleta Arthur Tenn, M 2 5 More
Rodriguez, Xavier Texas, W 2 5 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

A total of 7 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions , while the remaining 4 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge J. Ronnie Greer in the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville) ranked 1st with 5 convicted in convictions.

  • Judges Michael H. Watson in the Southern District of Ohio (Cincinnati), Arthur J. Schwab in the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) and Raymond Alvin Jackson in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: November 28, 2017
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Copyright 2017, TRAC Reports, Inc.

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