Prosecutions for April 2014
Referring Agency: Social Security Administration
Table 1. Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2014 the government reported 56 new prosecutions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Social Security Administration.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 19.1 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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 2014 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-16.9%).
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 10.4 percent from levels reported in 2009.
The growth 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
prosecutions is 3 percent instead of 10.4 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.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Prosecutions
The increase from the levels five years ago in prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of 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.
Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in April 2014 was for "Fraud-Federal Program", accounting for 39.3 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (25%), "
Theft-Government Property" (12.5%), "Fraud-Bankruptcy" (3.6%), "Fraud-Other" (3.6%), "Immigration" (3.6%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In April 2014, 1 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.
In the magistrate courts in April the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 42 U.S.C Section 408 involving "Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties". This was the lead charge
for 100 percent of all magistrate filings in April.
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In April 2014, 55 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April there
were an additional 3 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 prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during April 2014 referred by the Social Security Administration.
Table 2. Top Charges Filed
"Public money, property or records" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 641) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Public money, property or records" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 641) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 408.
"Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 408 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd were
"Bankruptcy Fraud" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 157, "Fraud/false statements or entries generally" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1001, "Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383 and "Fraudulent acts; penalties; re
stitution" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383.
"Fraud/false statements or entries generally" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1001 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 five years ago."Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383 was ranked 8 a year ago, wh
ile it was ranked 8 five years ago."Fraudulent acts; penalties; restitution" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383 was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 6 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions — up 25 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383
that involves " Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 30.6 percent — was registered for
prosecutions under " Public money, property or records
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago — down 30 percent — was
" Fraudulent acts; penalties; restitution
" (Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions — 50 percent — was
for filings where the lead charge was " Fraud and related activity - computers
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1030
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In April 2014 the Justice Department said the government brought 22.2 prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the number of prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of prosecutions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts
The Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) — with 11 prosecutions — was the most active during April 2014.
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd.
Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) is 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 of this type during April 2014 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 34 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings , while the remaining 14 judges were from other districts.
(Because of ties, there were a total of 48 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 3 defendants in cases.
Ronald A. Guzman in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), Charles Ronald Norgle, Sr. in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), David R. Herndon in the Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis), Cheryl R. Zwart in the District of Nebraska
and Walter Scott Smith, Jr. in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 2 defendants in cases.
Report Generated: July 3, 2014