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Homeland Security reports massive abuse by government employees

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Diane Sweet
Published: Wednesday December 6, 2006

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A semi-annual report filed this week by Homeland Security Inspector General Richard L. Skinner showed a marked increase in arrests of department and other government employees, but contained no recommendations for security improvements, RAW STORY has learned.

Media spokeswoman Tamara Faulkner of the Inspector General's office told RAW STORY that many of the arrests associated with the report, "were due to oversight associated with the inter-departmental oversight involved with the recovery process of Hurricane Katrina."

Indeed, there was fraud discovered in connection with Katrina and the FEMA division of Homeland Security, but more alarming are the many arrests made of employees working for the government. Among the claims:

  • FEMA inspector accused of soliciting and accepting bribes in connection with kickbacks on over-inflated FEMA claims.

  • FEMA temporary employee in NYC facilitated $2,000,000 fraud via submission and approval of false claims for financial assistance to FEMA after the attacks on the World Trade Centers on 9-11-01. The investigation led to the indictment of 8 persons on 52 counts.

  • Former prison captain guilty of civil rights violation and witness tampering, convicted of 3 counts of witness tampering and the beating of an immigrant detainee.

  • ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) special agent convicted of workers' compensation fraud of over $239,000 while working for another company and failing to report the income.

  • An Immigration Enforcement agent indicted for harboring a fugitive.

  • ICE special agent charged and arrested for exposing himself to a female juvenile in a shopping mall. The agent was given one year's supervised probation and resigned but was not fired.

  • Death of ICE detainee: An internal investigation determined that the death of a detainee while in custody was a suicide, but that ICE procedures for handling a suicidal detainee were not followed. Cause of death not stated.

  • ICE agent pleaded guilty to bribery.

  • ICE facility investigated in another detainee death; another internal investigation determined that neither ICE nor the detention facility was negligent. A Cuban national alien, while detained by ICE at a contract facility operated by "Corrections Corporation of America," died while in custody. Cause of death not stated.

  • Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and selling identity documents; also assisted in drug smuggling by guaranteeing safe passage of 2 kilos of cocaine.

  • Border Patrol agent guilty of illegal possession of a machine gun and other unregistered firearms.

  • ICE agent arressted for online solicitation of a minor.

  • Customs and Border Protection officer arrested for bribery and alien smuggling. One of the smugglers gave the officer a Lexus SUV, and the officer also had numerous unexplained deposits in his bank account.

  • Border Patrol agent arrested for aggravated sexual assault: While off-duty, the agent took a female (age not stated) to his apartment and administered an unknown drug, rendering the female unable to resist his advances.

  • One Border Patrol agent determined to be an illegal alien was further charged with illegal possession of firearms and for his role in smuggling 99 illegal aliens into the country.

  • Two Border Patrol agents had been working with an alien smuggling organization since 2003 and were determined to have received an amount estimated at $900,000.

Department Secretary Michael Chertoff recently indicated that security improvements were being proposed for the department's visa waiver program.

Ms. Faulkner had no comment on the background checks of Homeland Security employees and stated that "no specific comments would be issued on individual cases other than what is contained in the report."