Province seeks to seize two properties allegedly linked to immigration scam
Director of civil forfeiture claims the Richmond properties allegedly linked to an immigration scam run by an unlicensed consultant likely to be used to facilitate unlawful activities in the future.
The B.C. government is going to court in a bid to seize two properties it alleges are linked to a man’s conviction in a massive immigration fraud.
In a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the provincial director of civil forfeiture claims that the two Richmond properties now owned by Xun (Sunny) Wang’s wife were used to facilitate the crimes and should be forfeited.
Wang, an unlicensed immigration adviser, used several companies to falsify documents to show that his clients were and had been living in Canada when, in fact, they were living in China.
The sophisticated scheme involved passport frauds, address frauds, employment frauds, false documents and the coaching of clients to mislead immigration officials.
The fraud spanned nearly eight years and saw hundreds of immigrants obtain their Canadian citizenship or permanent residency with the clients paying more than $10 million for services.
Wang pleaded guilty to offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Criminal Code and the Income Tax Act.
A judge concluded that Wang was the “mastermind” behind the scheme and had not reported any of his income during the time in question.
In November 2015, Wang received a seven-year jail term and a fine of more than $900,000. He was released on parole last year.
The lawsuit says that in August 2003, Wang, who was 46 years old at the time of sentencing and had come to Canada in 1997 before becoming a citizen in 2000, and his wife Jin Li had purchased a property on No. 4 Road in Richmond. The four-bedroom home is currently assessed at just under $1.5 million.
In December 2007, the couple bought a two-bedroom apartment at 6068 No. 3 Rd. in Richmond which is currently assessed at $760,000.
In November 2012, following the execution of search warrants by Canada Border Services Agency officials, Wang transferred his interest in both of the properties to his wife, each for $10 and “natural love and affection,” according to the writ.
The director claims that Wang transferred his interest in the homes in an effort to “hinder the plaintiff” and others from obtaining their “just and lawful” remedies flowing from the use of the properties as instruments of unlawful activity.
“No valuable consideration was given for the transfer to Ms. Jin,” says the suit. “Mr. Wang remains a beneficial owner of the No. 4 Road property and the No. 3 Road property.”
Jin participated in the unlawful activity and knew or ought to have known the manner in which the properties were being used, says the writ.
The suit says that the No. 3 Road property was used for 20 of Wang’s immigration clients and that after search warrants were executed at two company offices and the No. 4 Road property, 90 boxes of documents and 18 computers were seized.
Other items seized included nine fraudulent Chinese entry and exit passport stamps at the No. 4 Road property, it says.
The properties are likely to be used to facilitate unlawful activity in the future and should be forfeited to the government, says the director.
No response has yet been filed to the lawsuit, which contains allegations that have not been tested in court. The couple, both of whom are named as defendants, could not be reached.