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Saturday, May 25, 2024

California Man Allegedly Posed as ICE Agent to Defraud Undocumented Immigrants

Under that assumed persona, he promised that he could help his victims – most of whom were illegally present in the United States – to obtain legal residency, work permits, or citizenship.

A federal grand jury has indicted a San Diego man for allegedly impersonating a federal agent and using that fake position to defraud more than 25 Orange County victims who sought immigration assistance, including “green cards” and United States citizenship, the Justice Department announced today.

Davyd George Brand Jimenez, 52, of San Ysidro, was named in a 25-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury Wednesday afternoon. Brand Jimenez is currently being sought by federal authorities.

The indictment charges Brand Jimenez with 10 counts of false impersonation of a federal officer or employee, three counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, seven counts of fraudulent possession and use of U.S. government seals, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of misusing a United States passport.

According to the indictment, Brand Jimenez pretended to be a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and used that false title to scam victims. Brand Jimenez has never been employed by ICE.

Brand Jimenez primarily targeted undocumented members of the Latino community, telling victims he could help them obtain work permits, legal United States residency, and U.S. citizenship, according to the indictment. Brand Jimenez falsely claimed to be an ICE agent, including by showing a fake ICE badge. Under that assumed persona, he promised that he could help his victims – most of whom were illegally present in the United States – to obtain legal residency (also known as a “green card”), work permits, or U.S. citizenship.

According to the indictment, from April 2019 to November 2020, Brand Jimenez charged each victim between $10,000 and $20,000. In addition to falsely claiming to be an ICE federal agent or a federal “Homeland Security” official, Brand Jimenez allegedly sometimes told victims that he was a “G-18” federal official, which is a non-existent position.

Brand Jimenez failed to file immigration paperwork for his victims, and he never obtained any immigration benefits for them, according to the indictment. Because he was not providing any immigration benefits for his victims, Brand Jimenez allegedly fabricated immigration documents with the victims’ names that fraudulently displaying the emblem of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Brand Jimenez also allegedly fabricated a stay of deportation order and provided it to one of his victims as alleged proof that the victim would not be deported, which was not true.

In another instance, Brand Jimenez allegedly provided a victim with a valid Social Security card, a U.S. passport card, and a California Identification Card, and he directed that victim to use those documents under the name of a different person as proof of authorization to reside and work in the United States.

Brand Jimenez is considered to be a fugitive after failing to appear for a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty in an unrelated narcotics case in San Diego federal court.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted of all charges, Brand Jimenez would face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each mail fraud and wire fraud count, 10 years in federal prison for each count of misusing of a passport, five years in federal prison for each count of wrongful use of a government seal, three years in federal prison for each count of impersonating a federal officer, and a mandatory two-year prison sentence for each aggravated identity theft count.

The FBI Orange County Resident Office investigated the case and received assistance from the Santa Ana Police Department. Anyone with information regarding Jimenez’s current whereabouts should take no action themselves but should immediately call the FBI’s toll-free tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or https://tips.fbi.gov/ or contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-877-WANTED-2.

Read more at the Justice Department

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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