Home - About IAA - Media - Media release

Former immigration lawyer guilty of 93 charges

Media release

23 June 2014

Former lawyer Richard James Martin, of Albany, has been found guilty of 93 immigration-related charges at Auckland District Court today.

Charges include: providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt, forgery, and supplying false or misleading information to an immigration officer.

By law, anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority, unless exempt. Exempt people include lawyers who hold a New Zealand practising certificate. Mr Martin previously surrendered his practising certificate.

The court heard that, between May 2009 and September 2010, the 49-year-old:

Zannah Johnston, prosecuting on behalf of the Crown on charges brought by the Immigration Advisers Authority and Immigration New Zealand (INZ), said: “Licensed immigration advisers were used to sign applications because Mr Martin was unable to. Some would say he used the advisers as puppets for rubber stamping. Mr Martin met with each of the clients, not the licensed advisers. Mr Martin told clients what the requirements were, what the best times were to make applications, sent letters to the Minister of Immigration and answered questions on how to fill in forms.”

Judge Mary Elizabeth Sharp said: “I found Mr Martin to be a witness of untruth. I am satisfied that he lied throughout his testimony… Ultimately, I am afraid that I reached the conclusion that if it suited him, Mr Martin would swear black was white.”

Mr Martin has been remanded in custody pending sentencing on 1 August 2014 at Auckland District Court.

Charges against Richard James Martin

ENDS

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.