A man has been given eight months’ jail term for providing unregulated immigration advice and receiving money from vulnerable refugees and immigrants.
49-year-old Eugene Byass was on Thursday 20 June given eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to eight counts of offenses regarding the provision of unqualified immigration advice and services for two years, November 2015 to December 2017. Besides the imprisonment, he also got 12 months suspension as well as 100 hours of unpaid work. Byass was also mandated to pay back all the money he made from his victims, a total of £11,507.
The victims came in contact with Byass at community and refugee centers in the Nottingham area. Though he was not qualified as an Immigration Adviser, he offered to help them with their immigration issues. He has a business named B & L Legal Consultancy, which authority said was unregulated.
During the sentence, the judge accused Byass of improper representation. These people are vulnerable and easily cling to any hope of help; hence, misrepresentation is a serious crime the judge said.
Dr. Ian Leigh, Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner, said the crime committed by Byass is not a technical or victimless one. He betrayed the trust of vulnerable people who had no way of helping themselves, the commissioner said. He moved on to advise people to consult appropriate regulatory bodies before giving their trust to any adviser.
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) released a statement to apologize for any fraud conviction implied by an earlier statement. They said Byass has never been convicted of any Fraud Act offenses.
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