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DSS Special Agents Receive 2022 Investigator of the Year Award from New York’s Federal Law Enforcement Foundation

The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation (FLEF) has honored Special Agents Xander Smith and Alexander Goldberg, from the New York Field Office, with a 2022 Investigator of the Year Award for their outstanding efforts in a case involving fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and larceny.

Acting on a tip about possible passport fraud, Smith and Goldberg embarked on a year-long investigation of Rodney Robinson, a U.S. citizen hired as Program Director for the International Institute of the Brain. According to the tip, Robinson had used a forged passport to obtain his position.

Robinson proved to be a complicated suspect to investigate, as he had spent many years hiding his real identity and defrauding a myriad of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Through open-source research, interviews and surveillance, Smith and Goldberg were able to piece together the suspect’s background and previous work experience.

As a result of their investigation, the Special Agents were able to conclude that Robinson had stolen an identity and forged a passport to procure employment on several occasions, aside from using the false identity on government documents, including in correspondence with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In 2021, he was located, arrested, and charged with multiple counts of passport fraud and aggravated identity theft.


The tireless and exemplary investigative efforts of Special Agent Smith and Special Agent Goldberg led to a 2022 conviction of Robinson, who is now serving a 39-month sentence in federal prison.

This is the first award for both Special Agents, who have been serving with the Department of State for over three years. According to Smith and Goldberg, “We greatly appreciate the award and hope that DSS continues to work these meaningful cases that have an impact.”

DSS has the largest global presence of any U.S. law enforcement organization, operating at more than 270 U.S. diplomatic posts in over 170 countries, and in 33 U.S. cities. The organization leads worldwide security and law enforcement efforts to advance U.S. foreign policy and safeguard national security interests and is responsible for investigating transnational crimes.

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