RCMP have laid an additional 15 charges of fraud over $5,000 against a former immigration consultant in the Windsor area who already faces numerous fraud charges after leading people to believe he was assisting them in the process of getting into Canada.
Francesco Salvatore (Sam) Burgio, 45 of Amherstburg, Ont., was originally charged by police back in April with various fraud related offences over accusations he was taking money from potential immigrants and not submitting their applications.
Since then new victims have come forward alleging that Burgio's firm Burgio and Associates agreed to submit, on their behalf, applications and accompanying application fees to Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the hope of gaining status in Canada.
The victims said they later found out no such applications were submitted on their behalf.
The number of victims have now reached 25 resulting in 28 charges overall involving frauds of over $1 million, police said.
Immigration consultants require a formal licence to practice, but Burgio's licence was revoked for undisclosed reasons in May 2006.
"We congratulate the RCMP and CIC for their hard work on this file," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement.
"The government of Canada remains committed to cracking down on crooked immigration consultants."
In June Kenney tabled new legislation to crack down on unscrupulous consultants who exploit Canada's immigration system.
The bill targets consultants who charge a fee for immigration advice, but also encourage applicants to lie or make up stories about persecution in their home countries.
Kenney said the bill would make it a crime for unauthorized people to charge such fees. It would also amend existing immigration and refugee law so that only authorized consultants, lawyers and notaries in good standing could charge immigrant fees.