Richmond Provincial Court heard that a Yukon Territory government employee was plied with seafood, clothing and trips to a casino as part of an immigration fraud scheme.
Richmond residents Tzu Chun Joyce Chang, Qiong Joan Gu, Shouzhi Stanley Guo and Aillison Shaunt Liu went on trial June 29 for multiple charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Criminal Code related to a five-year investigation code named Project Husky, after the famed Yukon sled dog breed.
Canada Border Services Agency announced the charges in November 2020. The four are accused of running a scam, which involved 67 permanent residency applicants and fake government documents, from July 2013 to September 2016.
In his opening statements, federal prosecutor Gerry Sair said evidence will include Gmail messages between Gu, Liu and Ian David Young of Whitehorse that show Young received seafood deliveries, a size 44 blazer and vacations at River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.
“There’s also interchanges between Ms. Liu and [River Rock casino VIP manager Walter] Soo about facilitating Mr. Young’s visit, which the Crown says expect the evidence to show he didn’t pay for,” Sair said.
Sair said the court will hear Young, who died in November 2020, was the person responsible for the Yukon Business Nominee Program up to April 1, 2014. The program required foreign investors to pump $150,000 into a new or existing business, have a net worth of $400,000 and meet English or French proficiency standards.
“When that was done, the Yukon government would nominate these individuals and their family members, if they had a family, for Canadian permanent residency, and the proof of that would be the certificate of nomination,” Sair said.
With that certificate, one could apply to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Case Processing Centre in Sydney, N.S. for permanent residency.
Sair said he will introduce email that shows Young offered Gu the opportunity to buy certificates for $7,500 each.
Sair said the court will hear evidence that Chang controlled several companies involved in the scheme and was the only signing authority for the bank accounts. Banking records, he said, will show the defendants received more than $7.7 million in transfers, plus another $4.7 million was recorded on scoresheets.
“So whether it’s almost $8 million or over $12 million, these clients invested a large amount of that money, either within a year of July of 2015, which I haven’t talked about, or just a few months in advance.”
The trial is scheduled through July 15.
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