Published Friday, April 10, 2015 12:32PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 10, 2015 12:53PM EDT
A Toronto man is facing 88 charges in connection with a months-long immigration fraud investigation.
Nageshwar Rao Yendamuri, a regulated immigration consultant, was charged at the end of a 14-month investigation into his conduct, the Canada Border Services Agency said in a statement Friday.
Yendamuri worked as a consultant with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, the national regulatory authority designated by the Government of Canada.
The ICCRC is meant to safeguard those who seek Canadian immigration advice and representation, the website says.
All immigration consultants — working in Canada or abroad — who provide Canadian immigration services for a fee must be registered with the ICCRC.
Yendamuri is accused of submitting multiple immigration applications on behalf of religious workers for temporary resident visas, visitor extensions and visitor status restoration. Border agents allege he supported the documents with forged and/or fabricated documents.
He is currently out on bail with a $100,000 bond and several conditions, including that he not have contact with any witnesses who will be called to testify against him, and that he not conduct any immigration-related work.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with more information, or details on any other suspicious cross-border activity, is asked to call the CBSA at 1-888-502-9060. All calls are confidential.
Toronto police have arrested a woman in connection with their investigation of an immigration scam that allegedly defrauded hundreds of foreign applicants of more than $1.5 million.
Police said they began their investigation on GoWest Jobs International last October. GoWest, located near Keele Street and Finch Avenue West, claims to be a recruiting agency that deals with immigrant workers.
The suspect was “selling hope,” Det. Const. Erwin Mendoza told CTV Toronto on Thursday.
“Someone was proposing that, ‘Hey, if you go through me, I can get you to someplace to where you want to be or someplace better.”
Go West allegedly recruited applicants in foreign countries for jobs in Canada, requesting payment for documents, references and employment contracts, which would then be provided to the applicants.
But, police said, because the documents were fakes, the applicants would be denied entry to Canada. The applicants would also be banned from re-applying to enter Canada for two years.
Police allege that GoWest made more than $1.5 million in fees from over 500 applicants coming from six different countries. Many of the foreign applicants are of Filipino descent, police said.
One of the victims, 46-year-old personal support worker Agnes Aquino, claims her family in the Philippines gave more than $24,000 to GoWest.
CORNWALL, Ont. — Three Ontario residents have been charged with human smuggling after RCMP say Polish nationals were illicitly transported into the United States through a First Nation near Cornwall.
The Mounties say their probe began eight months ago, after U.S. authorities discovered three people from Poland there illegally.
It’s alleged the three accused would meet Polish nationals at Toronto’s Pearson airport or Trudeau International Airport in Montreal and then drive them to Akwesasne Mohawk Territory.
RCMP say they would then enter the U.S.
Sixty-five-year-old Marek Albinowski of Toronto, 69-year-old Wladyslaw Pipient of Markham, and 58-year-old Robert Fitzsimmons of Cornwall are charged with smuggling-related offences, while Albinowski also faces one count of possession of property obtained by crime
They were due in court on Tuesday.
Chinese passports have been seized by Canadian Border Services Agency after a “significant” fraud scheme was uncovered..
A Richmond man planned to help at least 165 people obtain Canadian citizenship by committing fraud, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Charges related to immigration fraud have been laid against Xun Wang, who is alleged to have been involved in a “significant” immigration scheme, said border officials.
Wang is said to have lied about the applicants’ residency status by creating a fictitious appearance of permanent residency, a precursor to citizenship.
CBSA released a statement concerning the case on Thursday:
“The CBSA’s Criminal Investigations Section conducted a lengthy investigation into the activities of Wang’s two unlicensed immigration consulting businesses, which offered services in Metro Vancouver. During the execution of search warrants, CBSA investigators discovered a complex immigration fraud scheme. Wang has been charged with six Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) offences and four Criminal Code offences, including allegations of advising foreign nationals to provide misleading and untruthful statements on their permanent resident card renewal applications, forgery and fraud.”
Wang is also charged with one count of tax evasion and two counts of fraudulently obtaining refunds or credits under the Income Tax Act.
CBSA worked in conjunction with the Canada Revenue Agency to nab Wang on the charges.
“Immigration fraud is a criminal offence in Canada and damages the integrity of our immigration system. The CBSA takes this issue very seriously and works closely to identify, investigate, and prosecute those engaging in immigration fraud to the full extent of the law.” stated CBSA’s chief of investigations Doug Mossey.
- See more at: http://www.richmond-news.com/news/chinese-passports-seized-in-significant-citizenship-fraud-scheme-in-richmond-1.1488969#sthash.1UzGXI5V.dpuf
There were 31 cases last year
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Last week we learned a Richmond man is being investigated on suspicion of advising hundreds of people to lie on citizenship applications.
But just how often does immigration fraud happen in Western Canada?
“On the immigration side of things, we see a variety of different cases that range from human smuggling, to immigration consultant fraud, marriages of convenience and hiring foreign nationals without authorization,” says Harold Wuigk with the Canada Border Services Agency.
There were 31 cases of immigration fraud last year, and we’re on track for a similar number, with 29 investigations under way in 2014, according to the CBSA.
“That can range from things like altering passports to show false immigration records, altering applications that come into Citizenship and Immigration Canada,” says Wuigk.
Those who attempt immigration fraud can get hit with severe penalties, with cases involving manipulation of passports holding maximum prison sentences of 14 years.
New laws mean heavier sentences and fines for unscrupulous immigration consultants, but many say it’s still a Wild West out there.
NICHOLAS KEUNG / TORONTO STAR Order this photo
Marsha Rose Marie Tomlin, left, was assisted by licensed immigration consultant Marva Yvonne Kollar, right, in her complaint about an unlicensed consultant.
Three years after Ottawa launched a new regulatory body to police the immigration consultant industry, critics say there are as many illegal “ghost” consultants as ever preying on would-be immigrants.
“It is still a Wild West,” says Francisco Rico-Martinez, co-director of Toronto’s FCJ Refugee Centre. “The ghosts still operate out there. People still fall victim to them.”
Experts say that despite stiffer new penalties for those who operate without licences or oversight, unscrupulous consultants continue to take advantage of refugee claimants and immigration applicants struggling to navigate Canada’s confusing and ever-changing system.
A few of these ghost consultants, who sometimes counsel clients to commit fraud, have been arrested and charged under the new laws, which provide for up to five years in jail and $100,000 in fines.
Rico-Martinez complains that when complaints are made to the Burlington-based Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), it has no power to police ghost consultants.
Instead, it’s up to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to investigate.