Shoddy recordkeeping led to significant overstating of terrorism convictions and other inaccuracies by a Justice Department branch that coordinates U.S. attorneys’ offices across the country, according to a federal audit.
The audit by the department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, found that the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) overstated the number of terrorism-related defendants who had been found guilty in fiscal 2009 by 13 percent and then overstated the same statistic in fiscal 2010 by 26 percent.
The executive office, which oversees 93 U.S. attorneys’ offices, also overstated by 19 percent the number of defendants sentenced to prison in 2010, the audit found.
In sum, Horowitz said, his office found that EOUSA inaccurately reported eight categories of statistics by significant margins.
The numbers reported by the branch generally reflect the majority of terrorism cases brought by the Justice Department, officials said. EOUSA reported 193 in 2009 and 236 in 2010, officials said.