Ungovernable unlicensed immigration adviser gets 7-year jail term

Good:

An unlicensed immigration consultant has been slapped with a seven-year jail sentence for giving immigration advice and counselling an applicant to lie — conduct an Ontario court described as “evil.”

Angelina Codina, 60, a disbarred Toronto lawyer, was also ordered to refund more than $30,000 to four of her former clients. This is one of the stiffest sentences handed to an unlicensed immigration consultant.

In February, a jury found Codina guilty of five charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which carries a maximum sentence for an offence at two years imprisonment or a fine of $100,000, or both.

“Unscrupulous immigration consultants in Canada are in a special position to thwart the system by advising people outside Canada on what lies they can profitably tell in order to gain admission,” Ontario Superior Court of Justice Anne Molloy wrote in her sentencing reasons released this week.

“The result is that unqualified, and often undesirable, applicants are able to successfully enter Canada by fraudulent means, taking the places of other more deserving candidates. These are the evils this legislation is meant to address.”

The charges against Codina, operator of Codina International, spanned three years from 2011 to 2014, and included four counts of offering advice on immigration matters without a license and one count of counselling a client to misrepresent facts on an immigration application.

By law, only a lawyer in good standing or a licensed immigration consultant can offer immigration advice for a fee. Codina is neither.

Although her company had employees, including some who were licensed to provide legal advice to immigration clients, the court said each of the offences of which she was convicted involved her personally either advising or offering to represent clients.

“This was an organized and sophisticated endeavour operated for profit without regard to the requirements of the law. There were four separate offences involving four sets of clients, all of whom suffered harm. That places this offence at the upper levels of seriousness for crimes,” Molloy wrote.

“Ms. Codina’s level of blameworthiness is also at the upper-end of the scale. She masterminded the whole scheme.”

Source: Ungovernable unlicensed immigration adviser gets 7-year jail term

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to Ungovernable unlicensed immigration adviser gets 7-year jail term

  1. Robert Addington says:

    I’ve always regarded immigration consultants, even licensed ones, with suspicion.

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