Monday, March 11, 2024

Immigration Fraud in Canada

 Immigration Fraud in Canada

Biggest immigration fraudster in Canadian history left $900K fine unpaid

National Parole Board decision says Xun (Sunny) Wang had to be released one-third through his 7-year sentence

Xun (Sunny) Wang has been released after serving a third of his sentence for the largest immigration fraud in Canadian history. He refused to answer questions from Radio-Canada's investigative program Enquête. 

The board also noted Xun (Sunny) Wang had transferred all of his assets to his spouse "to avoid the Canada Revenue Agency fines."

Despite "concerns," the parole board was compelled to free Wang after he served one-third of his seven-year sentence, because he's not at risk of committing a violent offence and his behaviour behind bars was "appropriate."

Wang, 49, was convicted of enabling more than 1,000 people to illegally obtain residency in Canada by falsifying passport entries, faking job offers and supplying them with bogus Canadian home addresses, to thwart immigration requirements. 

The tactics made it appear his clients had spent the required two years out of every five in Canada to maintain their permanent residency status. 

Instead, many spent most of their time living in China.  ​

At his trial in 2015, the court heard Wang made $10 million through his two immigration-consulting companies, New Can Consulting and Wellong International Investments Ltd.

The Canada Border Services Agency released this picture of passports seized from Xun Wang, as part of an investigation into his immigration fraud scheme. 

Wang was sentenced to seven years behind bars minus time served in custody and ordered to pay two fines: $730,837 to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax evasion and $187,901.24 for defrauding the federal government — a total of almost $920,000.

Promise to mortgage home

In reviewing his pending release in November, the parole board admonished Wang, stating "you have indicated you do not believe you owe the CRA any money."

But it noted that when "confronted" on his defiant attitude, Wang indicated he would pay the fines by having his home mortgaged.

Seven months later, a check of Wang's Richmond, B.C., residence on the province's land registry website shows no mortgage listed.

The Canada Revenue Agency refused to say if Wang has paid his fine, citing privacy. 

Wang used his own home in Richmond as a fake address for at least 114 of his clients. 

Approached outside his home by a T.V. crew from the Radio-Canada investigative program Enquête, Wang refused comment, instead calling Richmond RCMP to complain about the presence of a news camera on his street. The RCMP declined to attend.

'It's unfair and an injustice'

The fact that Wang is now a free man infuriates former client Zheng Li (Jenny) Geng, who lives in Vancouver and is facing deportation because Wang was her immigration consultant.

Geng says she had no idea Wang was breaking the law. And she's surprised he's now a free man while she faces a pending removal hearing.

"I feel it's unfair and an injustice," Geng said through an interpreter. "I'm a little angry because I think if he had paid the penalty, things might not have happened to me."

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been conducting an ongoing investigation since Wang's immigration scam was uncovered, reviewing the cases of his 1,677 former clients.

1,081 ex-clients face removal

To date, the CBSA says:

  • 608 permanent residents have been reported for inadmissibility; 
  • 221 who obtained Canadian citizenship could be stripped of their status;
  • 252 others have "lost their status through other process," including voluntarily giving up their permanent residency or citizenship.

That's a total of 1,081 of Wang's ex-clients who face deportation or have already left Canada.

Page of a passport showing entry and exit stamps that were falsified to meet residency requirements to maintain permanent residency in Canada. 

Geng's lawyer, Lawrence Wong, believes it's guilt by association.

"They're painted by the same brush," said Wong. "And you see time and time again the CBSA actually does not have any evidence that these people are all complicit."

Wong maintains many of Wang's clients are innocent victims.

He's launched a proposed class action lawsuit in Federal Court — not against Wang, but against the minister responsible for the Canada Border Services Agency.

Wong alleges the CBSA has unfairly targeted Wang's clients.

"The consequences could be devastating as many of these clients have Canadian spouses or Canadian born children," states his lawsuit.

The federal government has responded, arguing the ex-clients were "clearly complicit in the fraud ... and do not come to this court with clean hands."

Possible lawsuit against Wang

Wong isn't deterred, saying he might also file a lawsuit against Wang.

But he admits that could be a waste of time.

"If Sunny Wang owes the government $900,000, what are the chances of private individuals getting paid by Sunny Wang?" he said.

Three employees sentenced to 18 months in jail in B.C.'s biggest immigration scam

Three women were former employees of Xun 'Sunny' Wang's New Can Consultants

Ming Kun (Makkie) Wu, left, and Jin (Fanny) Ma are shown leaving the provincial courthouse where they were sentenced for their role in a fraudulent immigration scheme. 

Three former immigration consultants have received 18-month sentences and will have to pay large fines for their roles in B.C.'s biggest-ever immigration fraud scheme. 

Jin (Fanny) Ma, Wen (Vivian)Jiang and Ming Kun (Makkie) Wu were sentenced under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Income Tax Act and the criminal code Tuesday afternoon in a Vancouver courtroom.

Pei Jia Li peeks through the doors after his hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board in Vancouver in November. He was ruled 'inadmissible to Canada' for having fraudulent entry and exit stamps in his passport. 

The women are former employees of Xun (Sunny) Wang and New Can Consultants and had pleaded guilty to several charges including passport offences, misrepresentation, forgery and tax evasion. 

Wang was charged in October 2012, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $900,000 in one of the biggest immigration scams in Canadian history 

A total of nine of Wang's employees were charged. Three others are going through the courts and the last three have warrants out for their arrest. 

In addition to the 18-month sentences in provincial jail, the women will have to pay fines assessed on their crimes.

In a statement, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says the women "financially gained by committing fraud for their clients, did not report their income to the Canada Revenue Agency and applied for tax credits to which they were not entitled."  

Ma has been fined $96,000. Jiang $74,000 and Wu $50,000. 

The crown had asked for three-year sentences. 

Immigration consultant Eric Leung, left, and client Guo Liang Lin, right. Lin admits he signed documents that said he lived in Canada three times longer than he actually had, to obtain permanent residency. Lin was with a different immigration company at the time. 

The long and complex investigation began in 2012 after immigration employees in Alberta noticed that many permanent residence applicants had the same addresses in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. 

Wang falsely used his own home in Richmond as an address for 114 of his clients who didn't live in Canada. 

According to CBSA figures, over 1,647 clients of New Can Consulting paid approximately $10 million for fraudulent services over a seven-year period from 2006-2013.

The consultants created fake patterns of Canadian residency to help their clients meet residency requirements for permanent residence and Canadian citizenship.  

They had an elaborate scheme to obtain stamps in passports for fictitious travel dates. They also falsified employment information.

Harald Wuigk, CBSA's assistant director of criminal investigations, says the sentences send a 'serious message' of deterrence. 

In updated figures supplied to the CBC, the CBSA alleges 373 of Wang's former customers obtained permanent residency under false pretenses. And more than 200 others may have lied in order to become Canadian citizens.

Many deportation orders issued

The CBSA says another 456 ex-clients remain under investigation, while 236 have "lost status through other processes," including voluntarily giving up their permanent residency or Canadian citizenship.

That brings the total number of people deported or facing possible deportation to more than 1,300.

So far, 71 removal orders have been issued, but some are pending appeals.

A total of 27 have been removed from Canada, according to the agency.

In an interview after the sentencing, Harald Wuigk, CBSA's assistant director of criminal investigations said  it "sends a serious message … to persons who try to contravene Canada's border laws."

"This is a serious case and it involves the integrity of Canada's immigration system. The Canada border services agency takes these violations very seriously and takes great pains to investigate and recommend for prosecution such cases," he said.

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