Central District of California | Southern California man allegedly posed as a federal agent and used that persona to defraud Latino immigrants seeking status to stay in the US.

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A federal grand jury indicted a San Diego man for allegedly impersonating a federal agent and using that false position to defraud more than 25 Orange County victims who sought immigration assistance, including “green cards” and US citizenship. , the Department of Justice 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 falsely impersonating a federal official or employee, three counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, seven counts of fraudulent possession and use of US government stamps, three counts of charges of aggravated identity theft and one count of misuse of a United States passport.

According to the indictment, Brand Jimenez pretended to be a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agent and used that false title to defraud victims. Brand Jimenez has never been an ICE employee.

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

According to the indictment, from April 2019 through November 2020, Brand Jimenez charged each victim between $10,000 and $20,000. In addition to falsely claiming that he was a federal ICE agent or a “Homeland Security” federal 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 documents for his victims and never obtained any immigration benefits for them, according to the indictment. Because he was not providing any immigration benefits to his victims, Brand Jimenez allegedly fabricated immigration documents bearing the victims’ names that fraudulently displayed the emblem of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Brand Jimenez also allegedly fabricated a stay of removal order and served it on one of his victims as alleged proof that the victim would not be deported, which was not true.

In another case, Brand Jimenez allegedly provided the victim with a valid Social Security card, a US passport card, and a California identification card, and directed that victim to use those documents in someone else’s name as proof of authorization. to reside. and work in the United States.

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

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

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

The FBI’s Orange County Residents’ Bureau investigated the case and received assistance from the Santa Ana Police Department. Anyone with information on Jimenez’s current whereabouts should take no action, but should call the hotline immediately. Toll free FBI information at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or https://tips.fbi.gov/ or contact the US Marshals Service at 1-877-WANTED-2.

Assistant US Attorney Charles E. Pell of the Santa Ana Branch is prosecuting this case.