Prosecutions for February 2013
Referring Agency: Social Security Administration
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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