Prosecutions for February 2013

Referring Agency: Social Security Administration

Number Latest Month 46
Percent Change from previous month -9.8
Percent Change from 1 year ago 14.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 1.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 0.7
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2013 the government reported 46 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 9.8% 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 2013 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was up (14.2 percent). 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 1.3 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 prosecutions is 0.7 percent instead of 1.3 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.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in prosecutions

The leveling out 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 February 2013 was for "Fraud-Federal Program", accounting for 52.2 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Theft-Government Property" (13%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (10.9%), "Money Laundering-Other" (8.7%), "Fraud-Other" (4.3%), "Fraud-Federal Procurement" (2.2%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (2.2%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (2.2%), "Fraud-Other Business" (2.2%), " Project Safe Childhood" (2.2%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In February 2013, 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 February the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 involving the "Public money, property or records". This was the lead charge for 66.7 percent of all magistrate filings in February.

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In February 2013, 43 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 prosecutions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during February 2013referred by the Social Security Administration.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 21 1 1 1 More
42 USC 1383a - Fraudulent acts; penalties; restitution 8 2 3 4 More
42 USC 408 - Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties 6 3 2 2 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 4 5 8 More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 1 4 4 14 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 1 4 10 14 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. "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 "Fraudulent acts; penalties; restitution" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383. "Fraudulent acts; penalties; restitution" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 4 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "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.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in prosecutions—up 66.7 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343 that involves " Fraud by wire, radio, or television ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—400 percent—was registered for prosecutions 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 prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 44.4 percent—was Aggravated Identity Theft (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 50 percent—was for filings where the lead charge was " Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties " (Title 42 U.S.C Section 408 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In February 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 16.8 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  
Ken, E 9 1 More
Mo, E 4 2 More
Texas, W 4 2 More
Wash, W 3 4 More
Ark, E 2 5 More
Maryland 2 5 More
Oregon 2 5 More
Penn, E 2 5 More
Texas, N 2 5 More
Cal, E 1 10 More
Colorado 1 10 More
D. C. 1 10 More
Fla, M 1 10 More
Ind, N 1 10 More
Mo, W 1 10 More
Montana 1 10 More
N Mexico 1 10 More
N. J. 1 10 More
N. Y., N 1 10 More
N. Y., W 1 10 More
Nebraska 1 10 More
Virg, E 1 10 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington)—with 9 prosecutions—was the most active during February 2013.

  • The Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) 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 February 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Bunning, David L. Ken, E 7 1 More
Biery, Samuel Frederick, Jr. Texas, W 4 2 More
Thapar, Amul Roger Ken, E 2 3 More
Lasnik, Robert S. Wash, W 2 3 More
Wilson, Billy Roy Ark, E 1 5 More
Marshall, Denzil Price, Jr. Ark, E 1 5 More
O'Neill, Lawrence Joseph Cal, E 1 5 More
Krieger, Marcia S. Colorado 1 5 More
Boasberg, James Emanuel D. C. 1 5 More
Moody, James S., Jr. Fla, M 1 5 More
Rodovich, Andrew P. Ind, N 1 5 More
Hollander, Ellen Lipton Maryland 1 5 More
Quarles, William D., Jr. Maryland 1 5 More
Mummert, Thomas C., III Mo, E 1 5 More
Noce, David D. Mo, E 1 5 More
Ross, John Andrew Mo, E 1 5 More
Mensah, Shirley P. Mo, E 1 5 More
Kays, David Gregory Mo, W 1 5 More
Lovell, Charles C. Montana 1 5 More
Hillman, Noel Lawrence N. J. 1 5 More
Kahn, Lawrence E. N. Y., N 1 5 More
Skretny, William M. N. Y., W 1 5 More
Thalken, Thomas D. Nebraska 1 5 More
Jones, Robert Edward Oregon 1 5 More
King, Garr M. Oregon 1 5 More
Dalzell, Stewart R. Penn, E 1 5 More
Savage, Timothy J. Penn, E 1 5 More
Means, Terry R. Texas, N 1 5 More
Kinkeade, James E. Texas, N 1 5 More
Payne, Robert E. Virg, E 1 5 More
Settle, Benjamin Hale Wash, W 1 5 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 31 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 31 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge David L. Bunning in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) ranked 1st with 7 defendants in cases.

  • Judge Samuel Frederick Biery, Jr. in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 4 defendants in cases.

  • Judges Amul Roger Thapar in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) and Robert S. Lasnik in the Western District of Washington (Seattle) ranked 3rd with 2 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: April 23, 2013
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