A ninth individual has been sentenced for his part in British Columbia’s largest-ever immigration fraud case, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced Friday.
Xiao Feng “Heki” He — who reportedly worked as an unlicensed immigration consultant between 2008 and 2011 — was sentenced to 20 months in a B.C. provincial jail after pleading guilty to multiple offences under Canada’s Criminal Code, Federal Immigration Act and Income Tax Act. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $44,659 for unpaid taxes, the CBSA said.
While working for New Can Consultants and Wellong International Investments, He was involved in passport fraud and misrepresentation offences related to 151 clients, who paid the companies roughly $1.2 million for these services, the CBSA said.
During sentencing, the judge who ruled on the case said He received a stiffer penalty than others who pleaded guilty because of his “heavy involvement in the passport fraud scheme and the operation of the New Can office in China,” said the CBSA.
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“The CBSA is committed to conducting thorough investigations and prosecuting individuals that willingly break the law,” said Harald Wuigk, assistant director of criminal investigations at the CBSA.
The sentence against He announced on Friday is in addition to previous sentences in the case. These include a seven-year jail term and $900,000 fine for Xun “Sunny” Wang, who pleaded guilty to eight fraud-, tax- and immigration-related offences in 2015, and separate 18-month jail terms and a total of $220,000 in fines for three women who pleaded guilty to related charges in 2017.
$10 million and 1,600 clients linked to case
In total, more than 1,600 people have been linked to New Can’s fraudulent services by the CBSA. These services, for which clients paid more than $10 million, included providing false documents and creating fraudulent applications for permanent residence and citizenship in Canada.
According to the CBSA, more than 1,000 of New Can’s clients have either lost their status in Canada or have been referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) for an admissibility hearing. Other cases are still pending investigation, the CBSA said.
Meanwhile, according to a report from the Vancouver Sun in February, officials in B.C. have moved to seize two Richmond properties that were allegedly used in connection with Wang’s crimes. The claims were made in B.C.’s Supreme Court, and the government says the properties should be surrendered under civil forfeiture rules.
According to the Sun article, the properties have a combined value of roughly $2.2 million and are now owned by Wang’s wife.