Skip to comments.Federal Agent Targeted In Phony Degree Probe High-ranking Homeland Security
Posted on 03/25/2011 12:57:30 PM PDT by NoLibZone
MARCH 25--A high-ranking Homeland Security official who held a top secret security clearance and supervised squads of agents in Los Angeles has been suspended as a federal grand jury probes whether he lied about having a college degree, The Smoking Gun has learned.
The ongoing criminal investigation is targeting Jorge Guzman, a 25-year law enforcement veteran who served as the assistant special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcements L.A. branch.
In mid-December, agents executed a search warrant at the 51-year-old Guzmans office inside a downtown L.A. building. Simultaneously, he was placed on paid administrative leave, and stripped of his firearm, badge, and government vehicle. Correspondence sent to his dhs.gov e-mail address is now returned to the sender marked undeliverable.
Lawyers for Guzman, pictured at right, contend that he graduated from a California community college and has provided federal officials with copies of an authentic diploma. In a recent court filing, Guzmans counsel stated that their clients name and reputation are being ruined by a false allegation and shoddy sleuthing.
Whatever the investigations outcome, it will likely prove deeply embarrassing to Homeland Security officials. Either a high-ranking ICE supervisor was able to move up the law enforcement ladder while repeatedly lying about his educational history, or an experienced agent was wrongly accused by peers whose botched probe effectively torpedoed his career.
Triggered by an anonymous tip that Guzman has lied throughout his career that he has a college degree, ICEs Office of Professional Responsibility opened an investigation late last year. In employment applications and background check documents, Guzman has reported receiving an Associate of Arts degree from Sacramento City College in January 1986, shortly before his hiring as a Border Patrol agent.
After a review of personnel records and school transcripts, and an interview with a college admissions supervisor, agents concluded that there was probable cause to believe that Guzman had lied about earning a degree from the two-year college, which he attended between 1978-1986. And that he had provided superiors with a bogus diploma.
So agents applied for, and received, permission to search Guzmans office for a replication of a diploma from Sacramento City College and any items evidencing the creation, procurement, possession and transmission of the diploma. Though that search was conducted on December 10--the date Guzman was placed on leave--details of the DHS probe have not been previously disclosed.
In order to search discreetly the office of a high-ranking ICE official, government lawyers reported that agents enlisted the assistance of a higher-ranking DHS official. When told of the allegation against him, Guzman became emotionally upset, according to a court filing by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Akrotirianakis. The prosecutor added that, After composing himself, Guzman voluntarily retrieved the purported diploma from his government-owned vehicle.
The document, Akrotirianakis noted in a recent court declaration, was being tested for authenticity in a number of ways.
In a series of blistering U.S. District Court filings, Guzmans lawyers have criticized the governments decision to launch a criminal investigation instead of pursuing the matter through an administrative personnel action. The grand jury probe is a witch hunt and ridiculous inquiry, they contend. The governments illegal search warrant, lawyers charge, is filled with wholly inaccurate characterizations and half-truths, at best.
Before his suspension, Guzman supervised four ICE groups probing human smuggling and trafficking as well as benefit fraud. He has been quoted in newspapers about ICE cases and has appeared on TV programs like CNNs Anderson Cooper 360. He was quoted earlier this month by The Daily in a story about Mexicos violent drug cartels (Guzman also appears in an accompanying video, which apparently was shot before the raid on his office).
Guzman has previously been the subject of a series of other internal investigations, inquiries that prompted him to file a lawsuit alleging that he was targeted because he is Latino. While admitting no wrongdoing, the Department of Justice in 1999 paid Guzman $400,000 to settle the legal action. (18 pages)
Guzman has previously been the subject of a series of other internal investigations, inquiries that prompted him to file a lawsuit alleging that he was targeted because he is Latino.
While admitting no wrongdoing, the Department of Justice in 1999 paid Guzman $400,000 to settle the legal action.
Does he have a real birth certificate?
He had his degree in his car? WTF. I carry mine around with me never can tell when you might need them to give your arguments weight, (eyebrows raised).
Probably a Democrat, they don’t need no stinkin’ badges, records, degrees, diplomas, birth certificates, etc. Those silly little rules are just for Republicans!
I have my college degree in a chest in the living room. I am retired and don’t need it, but I know where it is! And I also have a GASP Copy of My Birth Certificate GASP
and I know where it is, too!
Unreal. Invader scum. I hope this SOB goes to jail. What a joke.M There are no laws.
The leader of Sendero Luminoso is Abimael Guzmán.
He no doubt figures that if it is good enough for the CIC, it is good enough for him.
Amazing, claiming you falsely have a degree is a problem. Claiming you falsely have war medals is free speech.
And one high-ranking DHS agent told The Daily the official stats out of Washington may not tell the whole story.
I think the numbers are a lot higher. I think estimates like these are conservative, said Jorge Guzman, the assistant special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles.
Falsely claiming you have a degree to get a job is fraud. Telling a girl at the bar you have a degree is not. Same with medals. Claim veteran status to get a federal job when you were not is the same kind of fraud.
Gee, he would have to be really stupid to attend a two-year college from 1978 to 1986 and not have earned an associates degree.
For pity sakes, this is about an AA degree?
Why would anyone lie about having an AA? With a little determination, AAs are not THAT difficult to earn.
He just needs to appeal his case all the way to the same 9th Circuit judges that struck down the Stolen Valor Act. How dare the feds question his freedom to lie!
I think this is about politics and that Mr. Guzman has committed the grievous sin of disagreeing with Big Sis.
Did Obama really attend college?
Everybody in Fed LEO units are “special Agent” this or Special Agent that.... WTF??
I bet this is more common than you think. particularly with people who have been employed by the Feds since before the internet existed.
A two year college...which he attended for EIGHT years! Oh well, Jorge is a good Democrat, so don’t you worry Mrs. Guzman. Given what he is, it will probably mean a promotion!!