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24 Apr, 2014

Sydney migration agent jailed for fraud

Canberra, 23 April 2014 (Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection media release) – The Federal Government said that the jailing of a former migration agent for immigration fraud sent a strong message to the industry that fraudulent and illegal behaviour will not be tolerated.

Ms Xiao Ying Wu (known as Amy Wu), was based in Sydney’s Chinatown and pleaded guilty to forging immigration documents and defrauding her clients, who were seeking assistance with visa applications, in order to obtain more than $80 000.

She was sentenced today in the Downing Centre District Court to 21 months’ imprisonment, with five months to be served, in relation to two Commonwealth charges of using false documents to obtain benefits.

She also received 18 months’ imprisonment with five months’ minimum term (to be served concurrently) for two charges under the NSW Crimes Act of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage.

The court also made a reparation order in relation to the Commonwealth charges of $13 405 and $18 935 to the respective victims and a compensation order relating to the state charges of $31 550 and $10 000 for her victims.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, said an investigation into Wu’s activities began in response to a referral from the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority, as well as complaints received directly from the community.

Minister Cash said the case served as a warning to would-be fraudsters that the government will actively pursue the prosecution of people involved in immigration fraud and unlawfully obtaining Australian visas. ‘The government takes allegations of fraud by those in trusted positions, such as registered migration agents, very seriously,’ Minister Cash said.

Any individual who provides immigration assistance in Australia must be registered as a migration agent with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. People wishing to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can do so by visiting the Office the MARA’s website at www.mara.gov.au.