Official Corruption Convictions for August 2023

Number Latest Month 42
Percent Change from previous month 5.0
Percent Change from 1 year ago -0.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Official Corruption Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2023 the government reported 42 new official corruption convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 5 percent over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for official corruption-related offenses 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 2023 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was only slightly down (-0.5%). Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 5.2 percent from levels reported in 2018.

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 decrease in official corruption convictions is 3.2 percent instead of 5.2 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 Official Corruption Convictions

The leveling out from the levels five years ago in official corruption convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of official corruption convictions 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.

Within the broad category of official corruption, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.

Case types within official corruption are

  • Federal Corruption - Procurement

  • Federal Corruption - Program

  • Federal Corruption - Law Enforcement

  • Federal Corruption - Other

  • State Corruption

  • Local Corruption

  • Other Public Corruption

The largest number of convictions of these matters in August 2023 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local", accounting for 26.2 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (23.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (19%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Program" (11.9%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (9.5%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (4.8%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other" (4.8%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for official corruption convictions in August 2023 was FBI accounting for 50 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption convictions were: Postal (10% ), Defense (7%), Justice Other (7%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3. Convictions by Investigative Agency

Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In August 2023, no defendants in official corruption cases for these matters were convicted 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.

Official Corruption Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In August 2023, 42 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 convictions of official corruption matters filed in U.S. District Court during August 2023.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 7 1 More
18 USC 666 - Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds 5 2 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 5 2 More
18 USC 201 - Bribery of public officials and witnesses 4 4 More
18 USC 287 - False, fictitious or fraudulent claims 3 5 More
18 USC 641 - Public money, property or records 3 5 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 2 7 More
18 USC 1709 - Theft of mail matter by officer or employee 2 7 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 2 7 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 2 7 More
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions

  • "Fraud by wire, radio, or television" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency were the lead charges "Theft or bribery in programs receiving Fed funds" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 666 and "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In August 2023 the Justice Department's case-by-case records show that the government obtained 15.2 official corruption convictions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the number of official corruption convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of convictions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.

Judicial District Count Rank  
N. Y., S 12 1 More
Fla, M 3 2 More
Ga, N 3 2 More
N Mexico 3 2 More
Penn, M 3 2 More
Cal, C 2 6 More
Ill, N 2 6 More
Texas, N 2 6 More
Ark, E 1 9 More
Cal, E 1 9 More
Cal, S 1 9 More
Fla, S 1 9 More
Mass 1 9 More
Miss, S 1 9 More
Mo, E 1 9 More
N. Y., E 1 9 More
Ohio, S 1 9 More
Penn, E 1 9 More
Puer Rico 1 9 More
Texas, S 1 9 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts

  • The Southern District of New York (Manhattan) — with 12 convictions — was the most active during August 2023.

  • The Middle District of Florida (Tampa), Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), District of New Mexico and Middle District of Pennsylvania (Scranton) 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 official corruption crime cases resulting in convictions of this type during August 2023 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Carter, Andrew L., Jr. N. Y., S 5 1 More
Valdez, Maria Ill, N 2 2 More
Carson, Joel McElroy, III N Mexico 2 2 More
Swain, Laura Taylor N. Y., S 2 2 More
Mendez, John A. Cal, E 1 5 More
Berg, Michael Cal, S 1 5 More
Presnell, Gregory A. Fla, M 1 5 More
Honeywell, Charlene Vanessa Edwards Fla, M 1 5 More
Mendoza, Carlos Eduardo Fla, M 1 5 More
Marra, Kenneth A. Fla, S 1 5 More
Thrash, Thomas W., Jr. Ga, N 1 5 More
Jones, Steve CarMichael Ga, N 1 5 More
Zobel, Rya Weickert Mass 1 5 More
Jordan, Daniel Porter, III Miss, S 1 5 More
Herrera, Judith C. N Mexico 1 5 More
Amon, Carol Bagley N. Y., E 1 5 More
Koeltl, John George N. Y., S 1 5 More
Furman, Jesse Matthew N. Y., S 1 5 More
Caproni, Valerie Elaine N. Y., S 1 5 More
Marbley, Algenon L. Ohio, S 1 5 More
McHugh, Gerald Austin, Jr. Penn, E 1 5 More
Mannion, Malachy E. Penn, M 1 5 More
Mariani, Robert David Penn, M 1 5 More
Mehalchick, Karoline Penn, M 1 5 More
Delgado Hernandez, Pedro Alberto Puer Rico 1 5 More
Alvarez, Micaela Texas, S 1 5 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

All 26 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption convictions. (Because of ties, there were a total of 26 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 1st with 5 convicted in official corruption convictions.

  • Judges Maria Valdez in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), Joel McElroy Carson, III in the District of New Mexico and Laura Taylor Swain in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 2nd with 2 convicted in official corruption convictions.

Report Generated: October 6, 2023
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