Prosecutions for January 2013

Referring Agency: Social Security Administration

Number Latest Month 51
Percent Change from previous month 24.4
Percent Change from 1 year ago 8.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -1.7
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -2.1
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2013 the government reported 51 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 24.4% 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 (8.2 percent). 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 1.7 percent from levels reported in 2008.

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 January 2013 was for "Fraud-Federal Program", accounting for 54.9 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (15.7%), " Theft-Government Property" (11.8%), "Fraud-Other" (5.9%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (3.9%), "Other-Regulatory Offenses" (3.9%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In January 2013, 5 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 January 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 100 percent of all magistrate filings in January.

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In January 2013, 46 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January there were an additional 4 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 January.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during January 2013referred by the Social Security Administration.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 28 1 1 1 More
42 USC 408 - Fed Old Age, Survivors & Disab Insur -Penalties 4 2 2 2 More
42 USC 1383 - Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits 3 3 6 6 More
18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents 2 4 10 3 More
18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft 2 4 4 11 More
18 USC 513 - Securities of the States and private entities 1 6 - - More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 6 5 10 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 1 6 11 12 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 "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 was "Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383. "Social Security -Procedure for payment of benefits" under Title 42 U.S.C Section 1383 was ranked 6 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 150 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—100 percent—was registered for prosecutions under " Fraud by wire, radio, or television " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 63.6 percent—was Aggravated Identity Theft (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 ). This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 74.1 %—when compared with five years ago.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 19.5 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  
Iowa, S 5 1 More
Virg, W 5 1 More
Ark, E 3 3 More
Ken, W 3 3 More
Mo, E 3 3 More
Oregon 3 3 More
Texas, W 3 3 More
Ala, S 2 8 More
Ark, W 2 8 More
La, W 2 8 More
Mich, E 2 8 More
Minnesota 2 8 More
Virg, E 2 8 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Southern District of Iowa (Des Moines) and Western District of Virginia (Roanoke)—with 5 prosecutions—were the most active during January 2013.

  • Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock), Western District of Kentucky (Louisville), Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis), District of Oregon and Western District of Texas (San Antonio) are 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 January 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Moody, James Maxwell Ark, E 2 1 More
Russell, Thomas B. Ken, W 2 1 More
Aiken, Ann L. Oregon 2 1 More
Yeakel, Earl Leroy, III Texas, W 2 1 More
Conrad, Glen Edward Virg, W 2 1 More
Granade, Callie V. Ala, S 1 6 More
Steele, William H. Ala, S 1 6 More
Wright, Susan Webber Ark, E 1 6 More
Hendren, Jimm Larry Ark, W 1 6 More
Hickey, Susan Owens Ark, W 1 6 More
Krieger, Marcia S. Colorado 1 6 More
Schenkier, Sidney I. Ill, N 1 6 More
Simpson, Charles Ralph, III Ken, W 1 6 More
Drell, Dee D. La, W 1 6 More
Foote, Elizabeth Erny La, W 1 6 More
Hornby, David Brock Maine 1 6 More
Stearns, Richard Gaylore Mass 1 6 More
Hood, Denise Page Mich, E 1 6 More
Tarnow, Arthur J. Mich, E 1 6 More
Jonker, Robert James Mich, W 1 6 More
Kyle, Richard House Minnesota 1 6 More
Tunheim, John R. Minnesota 1 6 More
Hamilton, Jean Constance Mo, E 1 6 More
Autrey, Henry Edward Mo, E 1 6 More
Noce, David D. Mo, E 1 6 More
Gaitan, Fernando J., Jr. Mo, W 1 6 More
Hochberg, Faith S. N. J. 1 6 More
Hurd, David N. N. Y., N 1 6 More
Cauthron, Robin J. Okla, W 1 6 More
Mosman, Michael W. Oregon 1 6 More
Bartle, Harvey, III Penn, E 1 6 More
Varlan, Thomas A. Tenn, E 1 6 More
Davis, Leonard E. Texas, E 1 6 More
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 1 6 More
Lee, Gerald Bruce Virg, E 1 6 More
Morgan, Henry Coke, Jr. Virg, E 1 6 More
Kiser, Jackson L. Virg, W 1 6 More
Moon, Norman K. Virg, W 1 6 More
Wilson, Samuel Grayson Virg, W 1 6 More
Coughenour, John C. Wash, W 1 6 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 27 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings , while the remaining 13 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 40 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judges James Maxwell Moody in the Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock), Thomas B. Russell in the Western District of Kentucky (Louisville), Ann L. Aiken in the District of Oregon, Earl Leroy Yeakel, III in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) and Gle n Edward Conrad in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 1st with 2 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: March 5, 2013
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