The latest available data from the Justice Department indicates that the long-term decline in federal criminal prosecutions for official corruption has continued. During FY 2015 the government reported 505 new official corruption prosecutions. Early information indicates that just 140 new corruption prosecutions have been filed during the first four months of FY 2016. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), the total for FY 2015 is down 3.6 percent over the previous 2014 fiscal year total of 524 such prosecutions.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with official corruption 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).
This is the lowest level for official corruption prosecutions over the past 20 years. Compared to five years ago when there were 727, the number of FY 2015 prosecutions of this type is down 30.5 percent. Prosecutions over the past year are lower than they were ten years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 23.6 percent from the level of 661 reported in 2005 and down 38.1 percent from the level of 816 reported in 1995. Also see earlier 2014 TRAC report on this trend.
The long term trend in official corruption prosecutions going back to FY 1995 is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of official corruption prosecutions of this type recorded each fiscal year. Each presidential administration is distinguished by the color of the bars. To view trends month-by-month rather than year-by-year, see TRAC's monthly report series for the latest data.
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