Prosecutions for August 2017

Referring Agency: Social Security Administration

Number Latest Month 33
Percent Change from previous month 10.0
Percent Change from 1 year ago -11.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2017 the government reported 33 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 10 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 2017 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-11.1%). Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 19.6 percent from levels reported in 2012.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Prosecutions

The decrease 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 August 2017 was for "Fraud-Federal Program", accounting for 54.5 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Fraud-Other" (12.1%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (12.1%), "Theft-Government Property" (6.1%), "Violence-Other" (6.1%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (3%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (3%), "Government Property-Crimes Against" (3%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In August 2017, no 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.

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In August 2017, 33 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during August 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 August.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during August 2017 referred by the Social Security Administration.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 17 1 More
42 USC 408 - Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties 5 2 More
42 USC 1320a-8b - Attempts to interfere with administration of Social 2 3 More
42 USC 1383 - Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits 2 3 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 5 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 1 5 More
42 USC 1383a - Fraudulent acts; penalties; restitution 1 5 More
Table 2. Top Charges Filed

  • "Public money, property or records" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 641) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 408.

  • Ranked 3rd were "8b - Attempts to interfere with administration of Social" under Title 42 U.S.C Section . and "Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In August 2017 the Justice Department said the government brought 12.3 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.

Judicial District Count Rank  
Mo, E 5 1 More
La, E 2 2 More
Maine 2 2 More
Mass 2 2 More
Mich, W 2 2 More
Penn, W 2 2 More
Tenn, E 2 2 More
Texas, W 2 2 More
Ark, E 1 9 More
Cal, E 1 9 More
Cal, S 1 9 More
Colorado 1 9 More
Fla, M 1 9 More
Fla, S 1 9 More
Ill, N 1 9 More
Maryland 1 9 More
Mo, W 1 9 More
N Car, E 1 9 More
N Car, W 1 9 More
Nebraska 1 9 More
Texas, E 1 9 More
Virg, E 1 9 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts

  • The Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) — with 5 prosecutions — was the most active during August 2017.

  • The Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans), District of Maine, District of Massachusetts, Western District of Michigan (Grand Rapids), Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville) and Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd.

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 August 2017 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Collins, Noelle C. Mo, E 2 1 More
Varlan, Thomas A. Tenn, E 2 1 More
Wright, Susan Webber Ark, E 1 3 More
Mendez, John A. Cal, E 1 3 More
Sammartino, Janis Lynn Cal, S 1 3 More
Martinez, William Joseph Colorado 1 3 More
Dalton, Roy Bale, Jr. Fla, M 1 3 More
Altonaga, Cecilia M. Fla, S 1 3 More
Kapala, Frederick J. Ill, N 1 3 More
Feldman, Martin Leach-Cross La, E 1 3 More
Singal, George Z. Maine 1 3 More
Woodcock, John A., Jr. Maine 1 3 More
Garbis, Marvin J. Maryland 1 3 More
Maloney, Paul Lewis Mich, W 1 3 More
Neff, Janet T. Mich, W 1 3 More
Limbaugh, Stephen Nathaniel, Jr. Mo, E 1 3 More
Noce, David D. Mo, E 1 3 More
Mensah, Shirley P. Mo, E 1 3 More
Bough, Stephen Rogers Mo, W 1 3 More
Flanagan, Louise W. N Car, E 1 3 More
Voorhees, Richard Lesley N Car, W 1 3 More
Smith Camp, Laurie Smith Nebraska 1 3 More
Conti, Joy Flowers Penn, W 1 3 More
Bissoon, Cathy Penn, W 1 3 More
Clark, Ron Texas, E 1 3 More
Biery, Samuel Frederick, Jr. Texas, W 1 3 More
Ezra, David Alan Texas, W 1 3 More
Payne, Robert E. Virg, E 1 3 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

All 28 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings. (Because of ties, there were a total of 28 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judges Noelle C. Collins in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) and Thomas A. Varlan in the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville) ranked 1st with 2 defendants in cases.

  • Judges Susan Webber Wright in the Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock), John A. Mendez in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento), Janis Lynn Sammartino in the Southern District of California (San Diego), William Joseph Martinez in the District of Colorado, Roy Bale Dalton, Jr. in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa), Cecilia M. Altonaga in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Frederick J. Kapala in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), Martin Leach-Cross Feldman in the East ranked 3rd with 1 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: September 19, 2017
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