Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Official Corruption Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during June 2022 the government reported 33 new official corruption prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 65 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with 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 2022 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-2.3%).
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 27.4 percent from levels reported in 2017.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Official Corruption Prosecutions
The decrease from the levels five years ago in official corruption prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of official corruption 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.
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
Other Public Corruption
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in June 2022 was for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Other", accounting for 39.4 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Corruption(Govt Off)-Local" (30.3%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Procurement" (12.1%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Other" (9.1%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-Fed Law Enforcement" (6.1%), "Corruption(Govt Off)-State" (3%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for official corruption prosecutions in June 2022
was FBI accounting for 61 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of official corruption referrals were:
IRS (9% ), DHS (3%), Justice Other (3%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions
Figure 3. Prosecutions by Investigative Agency
Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In June 2022, 2 defendants in official corruption 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 June the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 201 involving "Bribery of public officials and witnesses". This was the lead charge
for 50 percent of all magistrate filings in June.
Official Corruption Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In June 2022, 31 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during June there
were an additional 1 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 June.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of official corruption matters
filed in U.S. District Court during June 2022.
The Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) — with 5 prosecutions — was the most active during June 2022.
The Northern District of Mississippi (Oxford) and District of Puerto Rico 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 of this type during June 2022 are shown in Table 4.
All 13 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of official corruption filings. (Because of ties, there were a total of 13 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Stephen Robert Clark, Sr. in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 1st with 4 defendants in official corruption cases.
Judges Maria Valdez in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), David Gregory Kays in the Western District of Missouri (Kansas City) and Micaela Alvarez in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 2nd with 2 defendants in official corruption cases.