White Collar Crime Convictions for October 2017

Number Latest Month 384
Percent Change from previous month -35.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago -8.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
-27.7
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
-26.4
Table 1. Criminal White Collar Crime Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2017 the government reported 384 new white collar crime convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 35.5 percent 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 2017 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-8.9%). 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 27.7 percent from levels reported in 2012.

The decrease 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.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

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 October 2017 was for "Fraud-Other", accounting for 18.2 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Fraud-Tax" (14.3%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (12.8%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (12%), "Fraud-Federal Program" (10.7%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (7.6%), "Fraud-Health Care" (6%), "Fraud-Other Business" (3.6%), "Fraud-Computer" (3.4%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (2.3%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for white collar crime convictions in October 2017 was FBI accounting for 26 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of white collar crime convictions were: IRS (18% ), DHS (11%), SecServ (8%), Postal (8%). 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 October 2017, 9 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 October the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 involving "Aggravated Identity Theft". This was the lead charge for 55.6 percent of all magistrate convictions in October.

White Collar Crime Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In October 2017, 375 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 white collar crime matters filed in U.S. District Court during October 2017.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 52 1 1 3 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 37 2 5 1 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 26 3 3 7 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 24 4 8 4 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 22 5 2 5 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 19 6 4 6 More
26 USC 7206 - Fraud and False statements 16 7 10 10 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 15 8 6 2 More
18 USC 1347 - Health Care Fraud 15 8 7 9 More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 14 10 12 13 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 1 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 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641. "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 7 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions — up 15.1 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 that involves " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 34.4 percent — was registered for convictions under " Aggravated Identity Theft " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 31.3 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 — 60.4 percent — was for convictions where the lead charge was " Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2017 the Justice Department said the government obtained 139.3 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  
Mo, E 778 19 1 13 12 More
La, M 718 5 2 67 73 More
N. Y., S 572 25 3 11 18 More
Ind, N 510 11 4 24 32 More
Tenn, W 459 6 5 56 41 More
Wash, E 455 6 6 14 70 More
Penn, E 410 20 7 7 6 More
Utah 393 10 8 39 53 More
La, W 388 7 9 41 37 More
Kansas 371 9 10 28 41 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)

  • The Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) — with 778 convictions as compared with 139.3 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during October 2017.

  • The Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) ranked 2nd.

  • Southern District of New York (Manhattan) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Southern District of New York (Manhattan), now ranked 3rd , and Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) at 1st In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 13th one year ago and 18th and 12th 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 — 174.6 percent — was Southern District of New York (Manhattan). This was the same district that had the largest increase — 153.1 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 — 82.4 percent — was Eastern District of Washington (Spokane).  This was the same district that had the largest increase — 30.8 percent — when compared with five years ago.

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 October 2017 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Perry, Catherine D. Mo, E 7 1 More
Koh, Lucy Haeran Cal, N 4 2 More
DeGuilio, Jon Ernest Ind, N 4 2 More
Crabtree, Daniel Dale Kansas 4 2 More
White, Ronnie Lee Mo, E 4 2 More
Kaplan, Lewis A. N. Y., S 4 2 More
Padova, John R. Penn, E 4 2 More
Cercone, David S. Penn, W 4 2 More
Fowlkes, John Thomas, Jr. Tenn, W 4 2 More
Kimball, Dale A. Utah 4 2 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

A total of 8 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 2 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Catherine D. Perry in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 1st with 7 convicted in white collar crime convictions.

  • Judges Lucy Haeran Koh in the Northern District of California (San Francisco), Jon Ernest DeGuilio in the Northern District of Indiana (South Bend), Daniel Dale Crabtree in the District of Kansas, Ronnie Lee White in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis), Lewis A. Kaplan in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan), John R. Padova in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), David S. Cercone in the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), John Thomas Fowlkes, Jr. in the West ranked 2nd with 4 convicted in white collar crime convictions.

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

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