DOCUMENT: Investigation

Federal Agent Targeted In Phony Degree Probe

Grand jury investigating high-ranking DHS/ICE official

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 Enforcement’s L.A. branch.

In mid-December, agents executed a search warrant at the 51-year-old Guzman’s 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, Guzman’s counsel stated that their client’s “name and reputation are being ruined by a false allegation” and shoddy sleuthing.

Whatever the investigation’s 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,” ICE’s 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 Guzman’s 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, Guzman’s lawyers have criticized the government’s 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 government’s “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 CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” He was quoted earlier this month by The Daily in a story about Mexico’s 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)

Comments (51)

Surely, he must have been actually catching ILLEGALS. That cannot be tolerated. ///
does anyone else suspect the $400,000 settlement might have something to do with the extra attention? if this guy faked his degree..and then bitched about non-promotions...then he is getting some much deserved, albeit late, justice. i hope for his sake he is cleared cause it sucks working at walmart.
WeeblesWobble , Obama has already proven he is a US citizen. If you do not believe it, then PROVE he is wrong, otherwise, STFU!
LOL, you have to admit, its pretty funny when you think about it.
Dude, wake up. Obama provided a "certificate of live birth," not a long form birth certificate. They're two very different documents. A certificate of live birth can be issued from Hawaii whether you were actually born there or not. It's used to get kids into school who don't have copies of birth certificates from where they're actually born. A long form birth certificate is issued to those who were actually born in the state. If Obama had been born where he claims, he would have presented a long form birth certificate and every other document he's been asked to produce long ago.
Good news for you! Your President's birth certificate is legit. He was indeed born in Hawaii, and he meets all citizenship requirements for being President. To ease your mind, read a detailed discussion with copious documentation on Snopes.
Snopes is owned by a Mom & Pop team of partisan Democrats. You can always tell someone is a liberal when they use the old chestnut "snopes says ...". The credibility of those two Democrat hacks is zero.
I'm very concerned about accuracy, especially in a source whose stated purpose is to explode untruths. Could you please cite instances where Snopes.com is in error?
Snoopes is owned by George Sorros. Hardly an independent voice on all things left, obama or socialist.
What's your source for George Soros's owning Snopes.com? The site explicitly deals with that claim. It gives a history of the organization's funding that totally exludes Soros. But even if the rumor were true, how would it make a diffference to proving or disproving Obama's citizenship? The documentary evidence is there, whether the site is owned by George Soros, Rupert Murdoch or the man in the moon.
Uh, either the Communist Party, or the Progressive National Socialist Democrats? (4th Reich)
There is something very wrong with this story. He entered the Border Patrol in 1986 and two years later became a special agent/ criminal investigator???? That's very usual. Very Very Very Unusual...not unless he failed his probationary year and DHS felt sorry for him and moved him into investigations. The first three years in the Patrol is just getting to know the job and responsibilities..no one gets hired as a criminal investigator after two years in the Green Weenie Patrol unless he/she has a Rabbi somewhere pulling strings. An ASAC with only an AA degree in the LA office??? You need at least a BA or BS just to be considered for a basic trainee criminal investigator position in DHS unless.... He had a TC and not TC/SCI which you are not suppose to talk about. Something is very wrong with this career track...And the rest of you birthers, Hawaii became a US State in 1959, Pre4sident Obama was born in 1961 which made him born in and subject to..as they say...on the other hand John McCain was born in the Panama canal Zone and derived citizenship from his parents..Prez Obama was a natural born USC...
To all you morons who attack Obama for every problem you can, you're idiots who get off on seeing your own writing on the screen and you are all going to be even more ridiculously pissed when he wins the next election! Hahahaha! Get a productive hobby and STFU!
Believing that you can read the future is a classic symptom of schizophrenia and so is seeking revenge on anonymous "others". Help is available.
This is for ThoreauHD, Chicago Nick, SayNo2OilObama, David Spence and others who believe the President was born outside the U.S. and has lied about his education: I have good news for you. Few organizations are more scrupulous about fact-checking than Snopes.com. Here Snopes says “False” to claims that Obama was born anywhere but in Hawaii and that there’s something fishy about his birth certificate. Likewise, gives a summary of Obama’s educational history, verifying that he graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. So now you folks can rest easy that your President is a fully qualified American citizen and Harvard-trained lawyer. With admirable skepticism you’ve striven for the truth about such matters. Courageously you’ve stood up to charges that you’re biased, blind to the facts, and subject to paranoid conspiracy theories. Now you have the best available evidence. I imagine you’ll feel duty-bound to admit you were wrong, withdraw your challenges and declare that Obama has been telling the truth all along. That assurance should make you and like-minded Americans feel better.
After 15 years, it's considered equivalent experience as a 4 year college degree. Call me crazy, but if the guy was working for 25 years in that field and did a good job, then who gives a crap? Do they teach ICE at Community College? What's sitting in class going to teach you when you're in the real world doing it. Secondly, for TS/SCI they verify your school records AND talk to people you knew from there AND talk to all of your relatives AND check your high school and check your elementary school. It's pure hell and it creeps out all of your family, your friends, your friends you haven't talked to in 10 years, and complete strangers that may or may not even remember you. How the hell did they miss this in the first place? I'm going through it now, and it's a royal PITA. Something doesn't smell right. If they missed it, then who cares. The question is why the hell it matters in the first place. Was he born in Kenya and did he go to school in a madrassa in muslim Indonesia? If the answer is no, then back the F off and let him do his job. Somebody from on high is railroading this guy. And I'll bet dollars to donuts it has to do with ICE vote of no confidence for it's leaders last year. Obama's communists have destroyed ICE's ability to do it's job. They should stick their asses in front of a grand jury.
So do you really want someone that is so trustworthy that they lied as to their college degree to be able to view nude pictures of people going through the TSA system? This should get him a oneway ticket to WALMART. If he wants something better maybe he can actually graduate from an accredited college.
There must be something else going here. They investigated him for what reason? To renew his security clearance? How far are they going back? He's already had 25 years in with the government - and not only that - he's the top guy at ICE. Why did they go back to investigate his background 25 years ago? They investigate every 5 years, so that's at least 5 background investigations he's passed. He's simply lied about an AA some 25 years ago, and now his career is down the drain. OK, he's not writing prescriptions or handing out drugs as a pharmacist or medical doctor, and practicing law without a license. I think that they should give him a break. It looks like he made a youthful mistakes. He's worked hard to get ahead in his career, and probably ticked off some of his peers. Not fair.
Good. I hate Resume frauds and they're pervasive throughout the government and particularly in the over 50 crowd who started their careers when all an employer could do at the time was take their word as most didn't have the time or resources to go dig through mountains of file cabinets and paperwork frankly everyone in a government job at this juncture should have to reapply for their jobs to smoke out all the fraudsters taking up valuable working positions when they had no business being hired in the first place. Especially to weed out illegal aliens and other scum. Now if we could only get the congress and SCOTUS to demand that the kenyan born Banana Republic Boy King's mountains of hidden Curriculum Vitae information be either turned over and let the chips fall or he be forbidden to re run for office then if ever proven to be the fraud we know he is, the appropriate penalty for treason, identity fraud, election fraud, Bar Exam fraud, colllege loan and admissions fraud...now you loons see why he doesn't produce it? The ramifications are mountainous and they know dems would be put out of business permanently.
Yeah, cuz I always keep my college diploma in the car.......
I'm a huge conservative, but listen, we're talking about an Associates Degree here, not a BS or BA let alone a MS or MA. An Associates degree is not much. The article doesn't mention- was he good at his job. We're not talking about someone faking he's a Dr or lawyer. I can't see in this case that an Associate's Degree in Art would make that much difference in this job. No he shouldn't have lied but sometimes all that paper means is that it opens a door for you. This just seems really minor to me. Obama's birth certificate? Yeah that's a big deal if it turns out he wasn't born here. But lying about an Associates Degree? Much to do about nothing. I'm sure its more common than thought. Maybe this is just a witch hunt because he's a conservative. Save your energy and breath for the big fights! BTW I'm in grad school right now so I don't have a chip on my shoulder towards college degrees.
I agree with what you say that an AA isn't much, and you would think equivalent work experience would matter. However, I think the issue goes more to character. If he lied about something as trivial as this, what else could he be capable of lying about? I hired a guy a few years ago as a staff accountant and he stated he had a degree. Whe our HR Dept. did a degree check, they wouldn't let me hire him because the date he stated his degree was conferred was earlier than what the college had on their records. It turned out the guy was missing one class to get his degree and they allowed him to walk, but the degree was conferred the next semester. Vietnamese was this guy's primary language and I believe there was a miscommunication between he and our HR dept, i.e. ceremony vs. conferrment. I went to bat for this guy to the bitter end and lost. So, the private sector is tough on this stuff, and so should the public sector.
Obama Where's the "real" birth certificate?
Wondering.... who are we paying to investigate these clowns before they get their first pay-check? To be sure SOMEONE must be in charge.
Hmm... we have a tax cheat in office as Treasury Secretary ... a fake "president" who was born in Kenya who can't even produce a fake birth certificate... why can't we have a homeland security dude with a fake diploma? Hell, he couldn't do any worse than the others who MAY have college degrees!!! Our "president" wasn't even aware of the so called "mission" to provide arms across the Mexican border!!!! The whole administration is a freakin' joke! I'm sure they'll all be on Comedy Central in a couple years.... That is, if we still have TVs in America then...
Guzman is a well-known Conservative Law Enforcement individual. No doubt the Obama "justice" department wanted rid of him so they could put in someone more sympathetic to Southern Border Crossers. (The Democrats will need all the votes they can steal in 2012)
Check out Adam Wheeler of Delaware, who was finally caught after faking records (who gets a 4.0 GPA?) to gain admission... to Harvard University! He was able to get over $45,000 in scholarships and grants because of his fake records. If they can get duped...
I obtained a 4.0 GPA in Graduate School @ Drexel University LeBow College of Business and was awarded an MBA. There were 7 students, including myself, in my cohort who had 4.0 GPAs.
I don't believe that anyone recalls the boring and bland Baraq Soetoro ever being in Harvard. He won't release his transcripts, and he now pretends to be in charge of the US military. So faking college transcripts is the new 'in' thing. Heck, all they do anyways is indoctrinate you in the Marxist 'Regressive' idiotology anyways. And pretend it will help you get a job.
"Eight years of community college down the drain...", to paraphrase Bluto in Animal House. Seriously, anyone can forge any kind of document these days, so why don't the feds check the school's registrar?!? It'll take 5 seconds to get the yes or no answer they're looking for!
"Eight years of community college down the drain...", to paraphrase Bluto in Animal House. Seriously, anyone can forge any kind of document these days, why don't the feds check the school's registrar?!? It'll take 5 seconds to get the yes or no answer they're looking for!
I was an employee of FEMA, a division of Homeland Security for several years. However, once I filed an EEOC complaint against FEMA, they started to retaliate against me. Eventually, they fired me after I filed several complaints against high ranking officials. I made accusations of Fraud, Illegal Kick Backs, Perjury, Collusion, Malfeasance, and Discrimination. My alleged crimes……walking through the wrong door, not following directions and disrespectful behavior. It's to the point where even the EEOC branch of the DHS is taking FEMA's side. DHS is nothing more than a Mafia. I give Guzman credit for taking DHS to trial and getting a settlement. Apparently he wasn't as dumb as they are leading us to believe.
cossack: I hope you're still not working for the government and if you aren't, congratulations for getting out of the corruption alive and well. The whole danged Obama government is a Chicago style mafia, that's for sure. Democrats are bad about that because Clinton ran it like a mafia, too. They don't have what it takes to lead, so that's the only way they can get control.
Hello JLANCE LOL
Hi C
Goodnight Janice
This is not surprising. The Federal Government hires minority employees without checking them out and puts them in positions of authority making big money. This is why our budget is busted. We have to hire three people to do the work of one. The size of government has doubled since 2000 and increased by 25% in the past two years.
It seems from this article that he was doing a good job. I don't condone his lying but it does prove that you don't need a piece of paper in order to do a job and do it well. Makes you wonder just how valuable a college degree is. Some of the dumbest people I know have college degrees. Exclude myself of course I are a jenius.
Where's the "real" birth certificate?
So 'High ranking officials' at Homeland Security have associates degrees. BHAHAHAHA! No wonder they are all a bunch of ***in' morons. It took Guzman from 1978-1986 to obtain a 2-year degree from a community college. Sounds like DHS is going to have a hard time replacing such a wizard. Oh by the way, LOVE how his first play is to throw out the race card. "But wait I'm a Latino...." like that enough is reason to have the case drop, this idiot will probably end up with a promotion. PATHETIC the way this country is going.
So what's the problem? You can become president of the United States without a shred of personal identification in this country. You can even post a fraudulent Birth Certificate on your website and not provide a single college transcript to congress, the judiciary or anyone else. Vladimir Putin can run for president in the US under the new precedent. So why pick on some guy who lies on his resume? It is the new Obama standard.
To be fair, he may have gone to college while in the military taking 1-2 classes at a time. Officially, I've been in college since I started taking classes (off and on) in 1995, but won't get my BS and eventually masters, until sometime in 2012. Either way, it's strange that this wasn't caught before...especially with an SSBI check done for his TS clearance.
Wait wait ... he had to lie about an associate's degree? For that matter, it's an associate's degree for crying out loud! Who cares?!?! It's not like the guy is saying he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard. Geeze, the DHS really didn't need to do a raid style take down on the dude for what could have amounted to maybe a counseling statement, or a reprimand at most. The guy has 25 years on the force with a presumably good track record. This isn't how the situation should have been handled.
This guy was at a Community College for 8 years.... 8 YEARS! That's a pretty thorough AA degree. You can dis him for being a bit slow, or, you can salute his persistence.
As a USMC officer I had a top secret clearance and unless they have degraded the clearance process they would have checked all his records including his degree....got to wonder about this one.
Who carries their 25 year old diploma around in their car, government owned or not?
Why the heck do they need to get the "purported diploma" and have it "tested for authenticity in a number of ways"?! Anyone at ICE / DHS think to simply call the college and ask if he had actually graduated from there and received a diploma? This blows my mind. Your tax dollars at work. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EDIT: After actually reading the documents that go with the article (which I overlooked initially) I see that they in fact did check with the school. The really weird thing is that it seems the record-keeping there is so shoddy that no one can say for sure whether he graduated or not. I also don't see a claim in those documents from his attorneys that the diploma is in fact real -- just says that they want to have the college rep look at it. That's suspicious. If it was real, don't you think they'd say so?
Usually people take photos on "graduation day." They have a party or something. Maybe he accumulated enough credits but did not apply for the actual degree. It is all a tempest in a tea cup since "resume inflation" is VERY common in this country. We would have to fire 50% of the Federal employees if we investigated all of them. This guy was targeted. Why? He was hounded like a Mafia guy over a 25 year old diploma dispute. They should look into the person who reported this to determine what ax he had to grind. Bet anything it was over some personal problem. So this guy gets to use Federal resources to settle a personal grudge. Great use of resources. Anyone check out the "birth certificate" issue which would be an actual crime against the Constitution? Pres. Obama is like "Starman" he seems to have just dropped out of the sky after attending schools that don't seem to have transcripts. Was he admitted to the Ill. Bar Association? He is called a Constitutional Law Professor, where that come from teaching a night school? The title of Professor is usually accompanied by some kind of resume or background in either the practice of law or extensive teaching experience.
When Glenn Reynolds speaks of our political elite being credentialed rather than educated, I don't think this is what he means.
They probably need to verify his birth certificate as well.