A judge has found a janitor guilty of immigration fraud as evidence surfaced that a janitor from Ottawa moonlighted as an immigration fixer who tried to bribe Canadian immigration officials while pocketing thousands of dollars in the process.
53 years old Mohamed Farah Abdulleh was convicted last week of several counts of Criminal Code fraud and Immigration and Refugee Protection Act charges. He was also found guilty of uttering false documents and identity theft.
Refugee Sponsorship Fraud
Mohamed Farah Abdulleh was a frequent point person for dozens of G5 sponsorship files, a type of refugee sponsorship where groups of 5 or more individuals group together to sponsor one or a few refugees; thus, he?s frequent visitor at Canadian Immigration Canada?s Catherine St. offices according to Judge Robert Beaudoin.
Sponsors band together because they have to raise a minimum of $12,000 in financial support, plus the immigration officials have to see the sponsors? proof of income to make sure they really can back up whoever they?re sponsoring. One of the immigration officials noticed that Abdulleh?s groups had pledged nearly $1 million and he had become the most prolific G5 sponsor. The fact that the officer knew that Abdulleh was a janitor further raised suspicions.
Abdulleh?s name has been associated with more than 500 refugee sponsorship recipients and some of the refugees claimed they were made to sign documents with another name on them.
The Investigation and The Trial
A probe was initiated by Canada Border Services Agency investigators in February 2011 while Abdulleh went on visiting immigration officials. He also told a staffer at a judge?s office that he could help her out if she helped him out, shared Beaudoin. Apparently, Abdulleh told the staffer that he?d help pay her mortgage followed by an offer of $500 payment per application she processed. He was finally arrested on the 17th of November 2011.
The trial featured statements from various witnesses who were named as sponsors in various documents submitted by Abdulleh. It was also found out that many of the witnesses knew nothing about the documents and that the signatures in the documents weren?t theirs. Some do not even know about any refugee sponsorship program. In fact, a man claimed that he never saw nor signed a G5 form in his entire life as he did not think of himself as a humanitarian, shared Judge Beaudoin.
The court found that Abdulleh took money in excess of thousands of dollars from people seeking to sponsor family members. Even Abdulleh?s lawyer Elena Davies found her client unhelpful when he was called to the stand because he systematically avoided answering questions to the point of forcing the judge to ask him directly.
It should be noted that Abdulleh?s wife owns a $400,000 home and he himself claims to have invested $106,000 although he had last worked in 2008 he has no money. All his claims had been contradicted by documentary evidence which was presented at his trial.
At present time, no sentencing date has been set yet and Abdulleh is out on bail.
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