Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2021 the government reported 80 new prosecutions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 56.9 percent 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 2021 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-14.3%).
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 52.8 percent from levels reported in 2016.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Prosecutions
The decrease 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 March 2021 was for "Fraud-Tax", accounting for 48.8 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (28.8%), "Fraud-Other" (3.8%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (2.5%), "Fraud-Computer" (2.5%), "Fraud-Federal Program" (2.5%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (2.5%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In March 2021, 9 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 March the most frequently cited lead charge was
involving "&mg_pos1_uscdescription.". This was the lead charge
for percent of all magistrate filings in March.
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In March 2021, 71 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during March there
were an additional 3 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 March.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during March 2021 referred by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Southern District of Florida (Miami) — with 8 prosecutions — was the most active during March 2021.
The Central District of California (Los Angeles) ranked 2nd.
District of Minnesota, District of New Jersey and Southern District of Ohio (Cincinnati) 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 March 2021 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 38 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings , while the remaining 14 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 52 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge James V. Selna in the Central District of California (Los Angeles) ranked 1st with 3 defendants in cases.
Judges Kimberly Jo Mueller in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento), Donald M. Middlebrooks in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Paul W. Grimm in the District of Maryland and James Parker Jones in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 2nd with 2 defendants in cases.