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Paralegal Pleads Guilty to Giving False Statement to Government

In an update to Practical Paralegalism’s June 15, 2009 post, ABC15.com is reporting that Arizona resident Nora Liliana Skinner-Reyes, a former Paralegal Specialist employed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has entered a plea of guilty to “providing a false document to a government agency.” In June 2009, she was indicted in U.S. District Court in Tuscon for allegedly making false statements during an employee security interview.

The Arizona Daily Star provided the following summary of the charges and the plea agreement:

In May 2004 Reyes, who worked as a paralegal for the U.S. Customs office in Nogales, checked “no” on a Department of Homeland Security form when answering a question regarding whether she’d been fired from or left through mutual agreement any job in the previous five years, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Spaven told U.S. Magistrate Judge Hector Estrada.

Reyes had left her job at a Bank of America in Nogales in November 2004 as part of a mutual agreement to leave, Spaven said.

Under her plea agreement, Reyes will be put on supervised probation for one year and will be banned from applying for any federal positions for five years. She is set to be formally sentenced by U.S. District Judge John M. Roll on Feb. 2.

Assuming Reyes’ plea agreement is accepted by Judge Roll, she will avoid the maximum penalties associated with this charge, including a five-year federal prison sentence and/or a $250,000.00 fine. But it is unlikely that she will be a serious candidate for re-employment by the federal government, even after five years.

For individuals not employed by the federal government, falsifying an employment application, personnel document or even a resume, can also have serious repercussions, including immediate dismissal from your job if the fraud is uncovered.

One Response to Paralegal Pleads Guilty to Giving False Statement to Government

  1. We are really sorry for Reyes but I found no clue why she did such a thing despite of the fact that she was employed for such an important post. This is most idiotic and unwise thing I have ever found.

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