White Collar Crime Convictions for February 2013
Table 1: Criminal White Collar Crime Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2013 the government reported 617 new white collar crime convictions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 3.9% 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 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 (-13.5 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 7.3 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 5.3 percent instead of 7.3 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.
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.
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 February 2013 was for "Fraud-Financial Institution", accounting for 14.3 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Fraud-Other" (14.1%), "Fraud-Tax" (11.8%), "
Fraud-Federal Program" (9.7%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (8.9%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (7.5%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (7.3%), "Fraud-Health Care" (6.8%), "Fraud-Other Business" (4.5%), "Fraud-Other Investment" (2.6%), "Fraud-Securities" (2.4%), "
Fraud-Intellectual Property Violations" (2.1%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for white collar crime convictions in February 2013
was FBI accounting for 33 percent of convictions.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of white collar crime convictions were:
SecServ (15% ), IRS (13%), DHS (10%), Postal (8%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of convictions
Figure 3: Convictions by investigative agency
White Collar Crime Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In February 2013, 25 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 72 percent of all magistrate convictions in February.
White Collar Crime Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In February 2013, 592 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February 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 February.
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 February 2013.
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 3 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 2 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 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 50.9 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—386.4 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 32.5 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— 28.3 percent—was
for convictions where the lead charge was " Bank Fraud
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In February 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 231.4 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.
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)
The Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery)—with 1950 convictions as compared with 231.4 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during February 2013.
The Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis) ranked 2nd.
Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham) is now ranking 3rd.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Southern District of Alabama (Mobile), now ranked
, and Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham)
In the same order, these districts ranked 27th and 29th one year ago and 52nd and 22nd 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— 105.6 percent—was
Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery).
This was the same district that had the largest increase— 825 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— 36 percent—was
Southern District of Alabama (Mobile).
But over the past five years,
Western District of Tennessee (Memphis)
showed the largest drop— 22.4 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 February 2013 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 10 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 15 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Myron Herbert Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery) ranked 1st with 14 convicted in white collar crime convictions.
Judge Robert James Jonker in the Western District of Michigan (Grand Rapids) ranked 2nd with 12 convicted in white collar crime convictions.
Judges Julian Abele Cook, Jr. in the Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) and Louise W. Flanagan in the Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh) ranked 3rd with 7 convicted in white collar crime convictions.
Report Generated: April 23, 2013