CBSA Announces Canadian Immigration Fraud Arrests in BC
Four more individuals have been found guilty of immigration misrepresentation and tax evasion in connection to the New Can Consultants and Wellong International Investments immigration fraud case. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Criminal Investigations sections announced these additional sentences on September 15.
To date, eight people associated with this case have been found guilty in the largest immigration fraud case to take place in British Columbia (BC).
The CBSA disclosed that individuals working on behalf of New Can Consultants provided “false addresses and phone numbers to clients so they could maintain the appearance of residency in Canada while living outside the country.”
The crackdown by CBSA has resulted in nearly half of the company’s 1,600 clients to lose their permanent residency or citizenship status, or face inadmissibility hearings in Canada.
Arrests related to New Can Consultants fraud case
- October 2012: The company’s owner, Xun “Sunny” Wang and three employees received jail time after pleading guilty to passport offences, misrepresentation, forgery and tax evasion. Wang was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $900,000.
- July 2017: Company client, Che Fang, was issued an exclusion order after pretending to be an employee of the company by receiving paycheques and T4s he issued himself. An exclusion order removes a person from Canada and that person is not able to return for one year unless an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) is obtained. For exclusion orders resulting from misrepresentation the removal is for two years. Fang was also fined $50,000 for misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
- August 2017: Tian “Gary” Chen and Xiao Ben “Ben” Chu received conditional sentences as a result of being unlicensed immigration consultants. Chen is also expected to complete 40 hours of community service due to misrepresentation under the IRPA.
- September 2017: Company employee, Zhen Wen “Vicky” Ye was sentenced to pay $94,532 and received a conditional sentence of two years less a day. Ye’s charges were related to passport fraud and five years of misrepresentation when she provided unlicensed immigration services to 265 clients. Ye was charged under the IRPA and the Income Tax Act.
“These investigations and successful sentences demonstrate the Canada Border Services Agency’s commitment to prosecuting individuals who abuse our immigration system. We continue to investigate any case of alleged offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and are dedicated to upholding the integrity of our immigration system,” said Harald M. Wuigk, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigations Section at CBSA.
Immigration fraud cases can have serious repercussions on defrauders and their victims alike. Therefore, it is important to remain informed of the various ways immigration fraud may be committed.
Unauthorized immigration representatives
It is critical to verify an immigration representative thoroughly before consulting their services. When it comes to Canadian immigration, an individual can be represented by either a licensed Canadian lawyer who must be a licensed member of the proper Bar Association or Law Society, or a consultant who is a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
Illegitimate job offers
Securing a job offer from an employer in Canada can be beneficial when planning to immigrate to Canada. Many Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams require a job offer. A job offer is also advantageous to candidates in the federal Express Entry pool, who, depending on the job offer, may receive 50 or 200 points based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Therefore, a qualifying job offer may improve a candidate’s potential of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and obtaining permanent resident status.
Potential immigrants who are eager to receive a job offer from a Canadian employer may fall prey to fraudulent job offers. There may be serious consequences for individuals who claim to have obtained a job offer which in reality may be fraudulent. In addition to potential financial and emotional costs, individuals who misrepresent themselves or their situation for immigration purposes— even if advised do so by a representative — may be banned from submitting another immigration application for five years.
Ways to verify validity of a job offer
- Do some research on the company and the person who contacted you. If a company does not have a website, it may be fake. If the company’s website has contact information, search this separately online.
- Look at the email address of the person who contacted you. Reputable recruiters and employers will likely have corporate email addresses.
- Did the recruiter or employer ask for payment upfront? If someone is asking for a deposit, training fee, or money to cover costs such as work permit or visa fees, it may be a scam.
- Canadian companies very rarely hire without an interview, either in person or by phone. If you have only communicated by email with a potential employer who does not want to meet face-to-face or speak over the phone, it is likely a fraudulent offer.
To learn more about authorized legal services for immigration to Canada, please visit this page.
If you suspect immigration fraud has taken place or may be taking place, please consult this page from the government of Canada.
To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently, fill out a free online assessment form.
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