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Company director sentenced for $100,000 immigration scam

Media release

18 October 2013

A former company director responsible for a $100,000 immigration scam has been sentenced to home detention and community work at Auckland District Court today (18 October 2013).

Tengyu (Nick) Yuan, 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 adverts in Chinese newspapers. Adverts 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:

Migrants paid large sums in cash only to find out that Mr Yuan had completed little or no work on their behalf. In total, Mr Yuan was paid more than $103,000 by six migrants.

Mr Yuan, 36, admitted all charges following an investigation led by the Immigration Advisers Authority.

On sentencing, 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 advert, 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”.

Exempt persons include New Zealand lawyers who can be found at www.lawsociety.org.nz. Anyone unsure, can call the Authority on 0508 422 422.

By law, under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act, anyone giving New Zealand immigration advice onshore or offshore must be licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority.

Notes to editor

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to promote and protect the interests of people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

We do this by:

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are exempt. Exempt people include lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff among others.

The Authority is independent of Immigration New Zealand and cannot give immigration advice or influence a visa application.