Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal White Collar Crime Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2023 the government reported 444 new white collar crime convictions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 28 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for white collar crime-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 up (11.9%).
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 22 percent from levels reported in 2018.
The decrease from the levels five years ago in white collar crime convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of white collar crime 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.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in White Collar Crime Convictions
Within the broad category of white collar crime, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
Antitrust Violations - Extraterritorial Application Of
Antitrust Violations - Finance Markets, Other than Banking
Aggravated Identity Theft
Other White Collar Crime/Fraud
The largest number of convictions of these matters in August 2023 was for "Fraud-Other", accounting for 19.8 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Fraud-Financial Institution" (14.6%), "Fraud-Federal Program" (13.3%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (8.6%), "Fraud-Other Business" (7.7%), "Fraud-Tax" (7.4%), "Fraud-Health Care" (7.2%), "Fraud-Computer" (3.6%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (3.2%), "Fraud-Against Ins. Provider" (2.3%), "Fraud-Consumer" (2.3%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for white collar crime convictions in August 2023
was FBI accounting for 35 percent of convictions.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of white collar crime convictions were:
SecServ (11% ), IRS (9%), Postal (9%), DHS (8%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions
Figure 3. Convictions by Investigative Agency
White Collar Crime Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In August 2023, 4 defendants in white collar crime 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.
In the magistrate courts in August the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 involving "Public money, property or records". This was the lead charge
for 25 percent of all magistrate convictions in August.
White Collar Crime Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In August 2023, 440 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 white collar crime matters
filed in U.S. District Court during August 2023.
"Fraud by wire, radio, or television" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Fraud by wire, radio, or television" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Bank Fraud" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344.
"Bank Fraud" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349.
"Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in convictions — up 30.8 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349
that involves " Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy ".
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 40 percent — was registered for
convictions under " Health Care Fraud " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1347 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 18.5 percent — was
" Aggravated Identity Theft " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 38.5 percent — was
for convictions where the lead charge was " Public money, property or records " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 ).
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In August 2023 the Justice Department's case-by-case records show that the government obtained 159.1 white collar crime convictions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of white collar crime convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of convictions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 white collar crime convictions to receive a ranking.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)
The Southern District of Alabama (Mobile) — with 1255 convictions as compared with 159.1 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during August 2023.
The Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 2nd.
District of Montana is now ranking 3rd.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis), now ranked
, and Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans)
In the same order, these districts ranked 13th and 18th one year ago and 5th and 19th five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of white collar crime convictions compared to one year ago — 241.7 percent — was
Southern District of Alabama (Mobile).
This was the same district that had the largest increase — 485.7 percent — when compared with five years ago.
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of white collar crime convictions — 16.2 percent — was
Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).
But over the past five years,
Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
showed the largest drop — 33.7 percent.
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 white collar crime crime cases resulting in convictions of this type during August 2023 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 13 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of white collar crime convictions per capita, while the remaining 1 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 14 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge William Frederic Jung in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 1st with 15 convicted in white collar crime convictions.
Judge Mary Stenson Scriven in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 2nd with 11 convicted in white collar crime convictions.
Judges John Andrew Ross in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) and J. Ronnie Greer in the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville) ranked 3rd with 7 convicted in white collar crime convictions.