Official Corruption Prosecutions Have Increased
(04 May 2021) The latest available data from the Department of Justice show that during the first six months of FY 2021 the government reported 236 new official corruption prosecutions. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual total of prosecutions will be 472 for this fiscal year. This estimate is up 38 percent over the past fiscal year when the number of prosecutions totaled 342 according to the internal case-by-case government records obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University after successful litigation under the Freedom of Information Act.

Official corruption prosecutions include bribery, graft, conflicts of interest, and other violations by federal, state, and local officials and law enforcement personnel. These cases brought by federal government attorneys involve the prosecution of governors, judges, federal and state legislators, and other federal, state, and local public officials who have been prosecuted for their criminal actions while in public office. Additional cases include the prosecution of government employees charged with misconduct in public office, including attempts by private citizens to bribe or otherwise corrupt them.

Official corruption cases actually peaked in FY 1998 when records show 906 defendants were prosecuted. Since then, prosecution numbers have generally slowly fallen with only short periods where prosecutions briefly increased. During the Trump years, prosecutions reached their lowest levels. The increase during the first six months of FY 2021 largely involved federal-level corruption matters, rather than the prosecution of state and local government officials or employees.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) filed public corruption charges against the largest number of defendants—more than were filed by any other U.S. Attorney office.

To read the full report, including examples of the specific defendants charged and their offenses and the top ten most active districts in bringing these cases, read the full report at:

In addition to these most recent figures, TRAC continues to offer free monthly reports on selected government agencies such as the FBI, ATF, DHS and the IRS. TRAC's reports also monitor program categories such as immigration, drugs, weapons, and terrorism. Even more detailed criminal enforcement information for the period from FY 1986 through March 2021 is available to TRACFed subscribers via Express and Going Deeper tools. Go to for more information.

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