White Collar Crime Convictions for April 2013

Number Latest Month 689
Percent Change from previous month 4.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago -11.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 5.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 3.7
Table 1: Criminal White Collar Crime Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2013 the government reported 689 new white collar crime convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 4.7% over the previous month.

White Collar Crime

This report summarizes the government's recent efforts when it comes to combating white collar crime—the number of such cases, the investigative agencies involved, the laws cited, the busiest federal districts and the busiest federal judges.

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The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for white collar crime-related offenses 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 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-11.3 percent). 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 5.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

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 increase in white collar crime convictions is 3.7 percent instead of 5.9 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.

The leveling out from the levels five years ago in white collar crime convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of white collar crime 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.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in white collar crime convictions

Within the broad category of white collar crime, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.

Case types within white collar crime are

Federal Procurement Fraud Federal Program Fraud
Tax Fraud Arson for Profit
Other Insurance Fraud Financial Institution Fraud
Bankruptcy Fraud Advance Fee Schemes
Other Fraud Against Businesses Consumer Fraud
Securities Fraud Commodities Fraud
Other Investment Fraud Antitrust Violations - Other
Computer Fraud Health Care Fraud
Fraud Against Insurance Providers Intellectual Property Violations
Insider Fraud Against Insurance Providers MEWA (Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements) Fraud/MET
Antitrust Violations - Airlines Antitrust Violations - Banking
Antitrust Violations - Defense Procurement Antitrust Violations - Extraterritorial Application Of
Antitrust Violations - Finance Markets, Other than Banking Telemarketing Fraud
Corporate Fraud Identity Theft
Aggravated Identity Theft Other White Collar Crime/Fraud

The largest number of convictions of these matters in April 2013 was for "Fraud-Financial Institution", accounting for 14.8 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Fraud-Other" (12.6%), "Fraud-Tax" (11.5%), " Fraud-Federal Program" (10.2%), "Fraud-Health Care" (9.9%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (8.4%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (8.1%), "Fraud-Other Business" (7.5%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (3.3%), "Fraud-Computer" (2.2%), "Fraud-Corporate" (2%), " Fraud-Other Investment" (2%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for white collar crime convictions in April 2013 was FBI accounting for 31 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of white collar crime convictions were: SecServ (17% ), IRS (13%), DHS (7%), Postal (7%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3: Convictions by investigative agency

White Collar Crime Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In April 2013, 22 defendants in white collar crime 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 April the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 involving the "Aggravated Identity Theft". This was the lead charge for 86.4 percent of all magistrate convictions in April.

White Collar Crime Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2013, 667 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April 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 April.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of white collar crime matters filed in U.S. District Court during April 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 72 1 2 3 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 65 2 1 1 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 56 3 3 2 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 55 4 7 6 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 51 5 4 4 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 49 6 8 7 More
18 USC 1347 - Health Care Fraud 37 7 9 8 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 31 8 5 16 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 28 9 6 5 More
26 USC 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax 21 10 10 12 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "Fraud by wire, radio, or television" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. "Fraud by wire, radio, or television" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Bank Fraud" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344. "Bank Fraud" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341. "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341 was ranked 3 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 63.9 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1347 that involves " Health Care Fraud ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—218.5 percent—was registered for convictions under " Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 33.6 percent—was Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 26.3 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Bank Fraud " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 260.7 white collar crime convictions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of white collar crime convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of convictions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3. Districts must have at least 5 white collar crime convictions to receive a ranking.


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Ala, S 1,745 12 1 30 41 More
Ala, M 1,734 16 2 66 90 More
La, M 1,372 9 3 72 44 More
Tenn, W 1,158 15 4 45 25 More
Vermont 1,158 6 4 82 84 More
Fla, S 1,044 58 6 1 1 More
Ill, S 1,036 11 7 45 78 More
Hawaii 834 9 8 59 73 More
N Car, W 489 12 9 36 20 More
Ill, C 485 9 10 61 63 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The Southern District of Alabama (Mobile)—with 1745 convictions as compared with 260.7 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during April 2013.

  • The Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery) ranked 2nd.

  • Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Southern District of Alabama (Mobile), now ranked 1st , and Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) at 9th In the same order, these districts ranked 30th and 36th one year ago and 41st and 20th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of white collar crime convictions compared to one year ago— 200 percent—was Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery). This was the same district that had the largest increase— 2450 percent—when compared with five years ago.

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of white collar crime convictions— 10.9 percent—was Southern District of Alabama (Mobile).  But over the past five years, Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) showed the largest drop— 30.2 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 white collar crime crime cases resulting in convictions of this type during April 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 11 1 More
Cooke, Marcia G. Fla, S 8 2 More
Lenard, Joan A. Fla, S 7 3 More
Van Tatenhove, Gregory Frederick Ken, E 7 3 More
Cerezo, Carmen Consuelo Puer Rico 7 3 More
McCalla, Jon Phipps Tenn, W 7 3 More
Hittner, David Texas, S 7 3 More
Fuller, Mark E. Ala, M 6 8 More
Selna, James V. Cal, C 6 8 More
Myerscough, Sue Ellen Ill, C 6 8 More
Settle, Benjamin Hale Wash, W 6 8 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 white collar crime convictions per capita, while the remaining 5 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Robert Nichols Scola, Jr. in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 1st with 11 convicted in white collar crime convictions.

  • Judge Marcia G. Cooke in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 2nd with 8 convicted in white collar crime convictions.

  • Judges Joan A. Lenard in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Gregory Frederick Van Tatenhove in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington), Carmen Consuelo Cerezo in the District of Puerto Rico, Jon Phipps McCalla in the Western District of Tennessee (Mem phis) and David Hittner in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 3rd with 7 convicted in white collar crime convictions.

Report Generated: June 10, 2013
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