Yafim Goikhberg was returned to the Montreal courthouse Monday where he learned he faces new charges involving the cases of 48 people who sought refugee status or a temporary resident permit in Canada.
Just two weeks earlier, on Sept. 9, Superior Court Justice Sophie Bourque sentenced Goikhberg, who specialized in immigration cases involving Russia or countries close to it, to his current prison term for defrauding eight people who fell victim to him the moment they set foot on Canadian soil.
In a case that began in 2010 following a Montreal police investigation, Goikhberg was convicted of five counts of fraud, 13 counts related to false documents and two counts of extortion.
One of Goikhberg’s victims was reduced to begging for money in a subway station. Some spent three months behind bars because of Goikhberg’s advice.
He did this while collecting more than $25,000 from a federal government program designated to provide emergency funds to refugee claimants in Canada. The victims never saw a cent of the money.
The most recent charges were produced through an investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency.
Goikhberg is accused of “having induced, aided or abetted people to misrepresent themselves and of using forged documents in order to obtain refugee status or a temporary resident permit,” CBSA said in a release issued after Goikhberg appeared at the Montreal courthouse on Monday.
Goikhberg, a Canadian citizen who immigrated from Russia in 1992, acted as his own lawyer during a two-month trial before a jury during which he insulted his victims while cross-examining them. Bourque also accused him of lying during the trial about the Montreal police detective who led the investigation and the prosecutor.
Two days before Bourque rendered sentence, Goikhberg filed a bizarre motion alleging the judge “is the grand-daughter of Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler” and cited that as the reason why he was convicted by a jury.
Goikhberg would bring the victims straight from the airport to a condominium he owned and then took control of their lives. Before presenting their cases to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, he would take their legal identification, replace it with false documents and invent a story in an attempt to obtain refugee status. If the people objected, Goikhberg would tell them it was the only way to get into Canada.
The new case against Goikhberg returns to court in October.