Adviser faces forgery charges

An Auckland man faces 34 Crimes Act charges of forgery and 34 Immigration Act charges of providing false and misleading information to an immigration officer after an investigation by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Richard James Martin (46) of Greenhithe, entered no plea to the charges when he appeared in the Waitakere District Court on December 20, 2011.

He was remanded on bail until January 10, 2012.

The charges relate to visa applications made to INZ by Richard Martin Immigration Ltd of North Shore.

Each Crimes Act charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, while the Immigration Act charges have a maximum of seven years imprisonment and/or a fine of $100,000.

Mr Martin is also appearing for trial in September 2012 at Auckland District Court on 23 charges laid by the Immigration Advisers Authority.

These include (a) 11 charges of asking for or receiving fees for immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt (b) Nine charges of providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt (c) Two charges of forgery and (d) One charge of holding out as an immigration adviser when neither licensed nor exempt.

The alleged offences, some of which took place under the company name of Richard Martin Immigration Ltd, took place between May 2009 and 2010.

Anyone considering seeking immigration advice from a lawyer is advised to check the Law Society’s online register. This will confirm the person they are hiring holds a current practising certificate.

If intending to use an immigration adviser, they should check the Immigration Advisers Authority online register.

The Register contains an international list of licensed immigration advisers and can be consulted either online or by contacting the Immigration Advisers Authority directly on free phone 0508-422422.

Immigration New Zealand Press Release

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