The legal battle could have huge implications for potentially hundreds of Chinese immigrants who had hired Wang to obtain Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.
The legal battle currently brewing in Federal Court could have huge implications for potentially hundreds of Chinese immigrants who had hired Xun “Sunny” Wang, an unlicensed immigration consultant, to obtain Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.
Wang, who operated New Can Consultants Ltd. and Wellong International Investments Ltd. out of offices in downtown Vancouver and Richmond, B.C., was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2015 and fined $900,000 after pleading guilty to multiple fraud-related charges. The scam involved making it appear as if his clients had spent the requisite number of days in Canada when, in fact, they had not.
To pull that off, clients’ passports were altered — typically by adding fake exit and entry stamps. To further the impression some of his clients were living in Canada, fake letters of employment or school admission letters were created.
At the time, the Canada Border Services Agency said it was “the single largest investigation of immigration fraud in British Columbia’s history” and noted that some 1,600 clients had paid Wang about $10 million for fraudulent services.
In the aftermath, investigators with CBSA’s Inland Enforcement Section pored through the list of Wang’s clients to identify those who misrepresented themselves in order to obtain or maintain permanent resident status in Canada. More than 500 were flagged for possible inadmissibility.
According to immigration lawyer Lawrence Wong, many subsequently received removal orders, some living outside Canada simply gave up their permanent resident status, while others are awaiting hearings or appeals. Only a handful have successfully appealed on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Wong believes the government has been unfairly lumping together individuals who knowingly conspired with Wang to deceive the government and those who were unaware of the fraud.
“You treat all his victims as if they were complicit? That doesn’t make sense,” Wong said Wednesday. “Effort has to be made to separate those that were complicit and weren’t complicit.”
Earlier this year, Wong went to Federal Court to file an application on behalf of two of Wang’s former clients — Chao Yuan Lin and Xiang Zhou — whose admissibility to Canada are being challenged. (Lin and Zhou, permanent residents of Canada since 2000 and 2004 respectively, had hired Wang to help them renew their permanent resident cards).
Wong, who is seeking to certify the case as a class action, is asking the court to declare that the government has misapplied the law.
“Despite the mountain of evidence of Mr. Wang’s fraudulent activities committed against his clients,” the federal government chose to treat those clients “as no less culpable and has been seeking to remove them from Canada by alleging they committed misrepresentation,” he wrote in the application.
If the government is successful at removing Lin, Zhou and other former clients of Wang from Canada, “the consequences could be devastating as many of these clients have Canadian spouses or Canadian-born young children.”
Full article by National Post can be accessed here.