White Collar Crime Prosecutions for February 2016
Table 1. Criminal White Collar Crime Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2016 the government reported 451 new white collar crime prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 35.4 percent over the previous month.
|White Collar Crime
This report summarizes the government's recent efforts when it comes to combating white
collar crime — the number of such cases, the investigative agencies involved, the laws cited, the
busiest federal districts and the busiest federal judges.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with 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 2016 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-14.4%).
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 35.4 percent from levels reported in 2011.
The decrease from the levels five years ago in white collar crime prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of white collar crime 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.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in White Collar Crime Prosecutions
Within the broad category of white collar crime, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
Case types within white collar crime are
| ||Federal Procurement Fraud
|| ||Federal Program Fraud
| ||Tax Fraud
|| ||Arson for Profit
| ||Other Insurance Fraud
|| ||Financial Institution Fraud
| ||Bankruptcy Fraud
|| ||Advance Fee Schemes
| ||Other Fraud Against Businesses
|| ||Consumer Fraud
| ||Securities Fraud
|| ||Commodities Fraud
| ||Other Investment Fraud
|| ||Antitrust Violations - Other
| ||Computer Fraud
|| ||Health Care Fraud
| ||Fraud Against Insurance Providers
|| ||Intellectual Property Violations
| ||Insider Fraud Against Insurance Providers
|| ||MEWA (Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements) Fraud/MET
| ||Antitrust Violations - Airlines
|| ||Antitrust Violations - Banking
| ||Antitrust Violations - Defense Procurement
|| ||Antitrust Violations - Extraterritorial Application Of
| ||Antitrust Violations - Finance Markets, Other than Banking
|| ||Telemarketing Fraud
| ||Corporate Fraud
|| ||Identity Theft
| ||Aggravated Identity Theft
|| ||Other White Collar Crime/Fraud
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in February 2016 was for "Fraud-Federal Program", accounting for 17.1 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Fraud-Other" (16.6%), "Fraud-Tax" (11.5%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (10.9%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Aggravated" (9.1%), "Fraud-Health Care" (6.9%), "Fraud-Identity Theft-Other" (6.9%), "Fraud-Other Business" (5.3%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (2.7%), "Fraud-Bankruptcy" (2.4%), "Fraud-Other Investment" (2.2%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for white collar crime prosecutions in February 2016
was FBI accounting for 27 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of white collar crime referrals were:
IRS (16% ), SecServ (10%), DHS (8%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions
Figure 3. Prosecutions by Investigative Agency
White Collar Crime Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In February 2016, 68 defendants
in white collar crime 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 February the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 involving "Bank Fraud". This was the lead charge
for 23.5 percent of all magistrate filings in February.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 1028A - Aggravated Identity Theft" (14.7%), "18 USC 1028 - Fraud and related activity - id documents" (11.8%), "18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices" (10.3%), "18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television" (8.8%).
White Collar Crime Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In February 2016, 383 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February there
were an additional 34 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 February.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of white collar crime matters
filed in U.S. District Court during February 2016.
Table 2. Top Charges Filed
"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 4 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641.
"Public money, property or records" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 641 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 6 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341.
"Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341 was ranked 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions — up 2500 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1031
that involves " Making fraud against the United States ".
This was the same statute that had the largest increase — 420 % — when compared with five years ago.
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago — down 30 percent — was
" Bank Fraud " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ).
This was the same statute that had the largest decrease — 61 % — when compared with five years ago.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In February 2016 the Justice Department said the government brought 156.9 white collar crime prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of white collar crime prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of prosecutions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 white collar crime prosecutions to receive a ranking.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)
The Southern District of Alabama (Mobile) — with 1285 prosecutions as compared with 156.9 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during February 2016.
The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) ranked 2nd.
Central District of Illinois (Springfield) is now ranking 3rd.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), now ranked
, and Western District of Missouri (Kansas City)
In the same order, these districts ranked 19th and 26th one year ago and 39th and 22nd five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of white collar crime prosecutions compared to one year ago — 533.3 percent — was
Washington, D.C. (Washington).
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 160 percent — was
Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge).
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of white collar crime prosecutions — 23.5 percent — was
Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge).
But over the past five years,
Western District of Missouri (Kansas City)
showed the largest drop — 38.9 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 of this type during February 2016 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 8 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of white collar crime filings per capita, while the remaining 9 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 17 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Jay A. Garcia-Gregory in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 1st with 21 defendants in white collar crime cases.
Judge Sue Ellen Myerscough in the Central District of Illinois (Springfield) ranked 2nd with 11 defendants in white collar crime cases.
Judges Stefan R. Underhill in the District of Connecticut, Daniel R. Dominguez in the District of Puerto Rico and Pedro Alberto Delgado Hernandez in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 3rd with 8 defendants in white collar crime cases.
Report Generated: April 7, 2016