A former company director responsible for an immigration scam of $100,000 was sentenced to home detention and community work at Auckland District Court on October 18 2013.
Tengyu (Nick) Yuan (36) of Noahark Consultant Limited, appeared on six counts of providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt.
The Court heard that vulnerable migrants had approached Noahark for immigration advice after reading advertisements in Chinese newspapers.
The advertisements had promised specialist help for overstayers, family reunion, work visas and difficult cases.
They met Mr Yuan at his ASB building office in Albert Street, Auckland City or near his Albany home where he made several claims including that he worked with an immigration officer at Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and that he was talking to the Assistant Minister of Immigration about their case.
He also told that he had 100% success rate, that there was a new immigration policy that would allow them to gain a residence visa and that their money would be refunded if their visa application was unsuccessful.
Migrants paid large sums in cash only to find out that Mr Yuan had completed little or no work on their behalf. Mr Yuan was paid more than $103,000 by six migrants.
Mr Yuan admitted all charges following an investigation led by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA).
In his verdict, Judge Mathers said: “Some people may consider this as a white collar crime but, as others have said, you are no better than a common criminal.”
Mr Yuan was sentenced to ten months home detention, 300 hours community work and 12 months post-detention conditions to continue for 12 months.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers, Barry Smedts, said: “These migrants trusted Mr Yuan. They trusted his advertisement, his office and his company. We urge migrants to look closer and check whether the person giving them immigration advice is a licensed immigration adviser or exempt. Licensed immigration advisers are trusted professionals and can be found using our website (www.iaa.govt.nz).”
Exempt persons include New Zealand lawyers (www.lawsociety.org.nz).
For further information, please call 0508-422422.
By law, under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act, anyone giving New Zealand immigration advice onshore or offshore must be licensed by IAA.
An Immigration Advisers Authority Press Release