Prosecutions for December 2017
Referring Agency: Social Security Administration
Table 1. Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during December 2017 the government reported 25 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 down 39 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 only slightly down (-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 29.3 percent from levels reported in 2012.
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 December 2017 was for "Fraud-Federal Program", accounting for 32 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Fraud-Other" (16%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (16%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (8%), "Theft-Government Property" (8%), "Fraud-Computer" (4%), "Fraud-Securities" (4%), "Government Property-Crimes Against" (4%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (4%), "Violence-Other" (4%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In December 2017, 3 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 December the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 115 involving "Influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a Federal official". This was the lead charge
for 33.3 percent of all magistrate filings in December.
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In December 2017, 22 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during December there
were an additional 2 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 December.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during December 2017 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.
Ranked 2nd in frequency were the lead charges "Aggravated Identity Theft" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 and "Fraud by wire, radio, or television" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In December 2017 the Justice Department said the government brought 8.9 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 Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) — with 3 prosecutions — was the most active during December 2017.
The Middle District of Florida (Tampa) and Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) 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 December 2017 are shown in Table 4.
All 21 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 21 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Rodney W. Sippel in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 1st with 2 defendants in cases.
Judges L. Scott Coogler in the Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham), Brian Stacy Miller in the Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock), Steven Douglas Merryday in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa), Virginia Maria Hernandez Covington in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa), Beth Francine Bloom in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Eleanor Louise Ross in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), Jeffrey Cole in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), Jeffrey T. Gilbert in the ranked 2nd with 1 defendants in cases.
Report Generated: January 24, 2018