White Collar Crime Prosecutions for February 2012
Table 1: Criminal White Collar Crime Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2012 the government reported 547 new white collar crime prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 1.8% 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.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with 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 2012 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-15.1 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 4.3 percent from levels reported in 2007.
The leveling out from the levels five years ago in white collar crime prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of white collar crime 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.
Figure 1: Monthly trends in white collar crime prosecutions
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 prosecutions of these matters in February 2012 was for "Fraud-Financial Institution", accounting for 15.2 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Fraud-Federal Program" (12.4%), "Fraud-Other" (
11.7%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (11%), "Fraud-Tax" (11%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (10.6%), "Fraud-Health Care" (6.4%), "Fraud-Other Business" (4.9%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (4.4%), "Fraud-Securities" (2%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for white collar crime prosecutions in February 2012
was FBI accounting for 26 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of white collar crime referrals were:
SecServ (19% ), IRS (12%), DHS (9%), Postal (7%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Figure 3: Prosecutions by investigative agency
White Collar Crime Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In February 2012, 97 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 February 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 29.9 percent of all magistrate filings in February.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" (16.5%), "18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices" (10.3%), "18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud" (8.2%).
White Collar Crime Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In February 2012, 450 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February there
were an additional 45 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 February.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of white collar crime matters
filed in U.S. District Court during February 2012.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"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 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Fraud and related activity - access devices" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1029.
"Fraud and related activity - access devices" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1029 was ranked 7 a year ago, while it was ranked 6 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "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.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 22.3 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343
that involves " Fraud by wire, radio, or television
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—203.9 percent—was registered for
prosecutions 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 prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 49.9 percent—was
Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy
(Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 33.5 percent—was
for filings where the lead charge was " Bank Fraud
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In February 2012 the Justice Department said the government brought 193.5 white collar crime prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of white collar crime prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of prosecutions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 white collar crime prosecutions to receive a ranking.
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)
The Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson)—with 716 prosecutions as compared with 193.5 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during February 2012.
The District of Kansas ranked 2nd.
Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) is now ranking 3rd.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis), now ranked
, and Kansas
In the same order, these districts ranked 13th and 19th one year ago and 10th and 42nd five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of white collar crime prosecutions compared to one year ago— 133.3 percent—was
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 325 percent—was
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of white collar crime prosecutions— 36.6 percent—was
Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
But over the past five years,
Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson)
showed the largest drop— 48 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 of this type
during February 2012 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 4 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of white collar crime filings per capita, while the remaining 6 judges were from other districts.
Judge Kathryn Hoefer Vratil in the District of Kansas ranked 1st with 11 defendants in white collar crime cases.
Judge Katharine Sweeney Hayden in the District of New Jersey ranked 2nd with 9 defendants in white collar crime cases.
Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento) ranked 3rd with 7 defendants in white collar crime cases.
Report Generated: May 8, 2012