British Columbia

B.C. wants to seize 2 properties of illegal immigration consultant

B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Office is going after properties related to convicted immigration consultant Sunny Wang, who falsified documents for about 1,200 clients to meet immigration and citizenship requirements, which brought him an estimated $10 million.

Civil Forfeiture office claims they are proceeds of crime, Sunny Wang says he's surprised

Xun "Sunny" Wang was convicted in the largest immigration fraud case in Canadian history. (Harold Dupuis/CBC)

B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture office is going after the properties of convicted immigration consultant Xun (Sunny) Wang, claiming they are the proceeds of crime and were used to launder ill-gotten money. The allegations are contained in a claim filed Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court.

One of the properties is the Richmond, B.C., house where Wang's family lives, and was used illegally as the address for many of his clients as part of what became the biggest immigration fraud in Canadian history.

The other, a condominium, is also located in Richmond.

Between 2006 and 2014, Wang had more than 1,200 clients and earned $10 million filing falsified applications for immigration and citizenship. 

Wang's wife is listed as owner of both properties being claimed. 

"Mr. Wang transferred his interest in the [properties] in an effort to hinder the plaintiff and others from obtaining their just and lawful remedies," says the claim by the Civil Forfeiture office.

Sunny Wang's wife Li Jin is listed as the sole owner of the family home in Richmond now claimed by B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture office. (Don Marce/CBC)

Wang pleaded guilty to offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in July 2015 after the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) raided his offices in Richmond and Vancouver and found fraudulent Chinese entry and exit passport stamps and dozens of passports.

He was caught holding a client's passport with cut-and-paste alterations when he was arrested in October 2014, according to the civil action.

Wang was sentenced to almost seven years in prison but was released on parole after serving less than two years of his sentence.

Properties in wife's name

The civil action alleges that shortly after the raids, Wang transferred his interest in the family home and a condo in Richmond to his wife, Li Jin, for $10 each.

Li Jin is also listed as the sole owner of a condo in this building in Richmond. (Don Marce/CBC)

According to the claim, Jin managed the finances of the two immigration companies — New Can Consultants and Wellong International Investment Co. — her husband ran.

The claim alleges Jin participated in the unlawful activity or was "willfully blind." 

Reached by phone, Wang told CBC he did not know about the forfeiture claim and would be contacting his lawyer.

"Yes, I am surprised okay," he said, adding he did not want to comment further.

Still owes $900,000 in fines and taxes

In addition to the attempt to seize and sell the properties, Wang still owes more than $900,000 in outstanding fines and taxes, according to court records.

When asked how he will meet that obligation, he said, "I will pay."

Wang has until March 2022, the end of his sentence, to pay the fines. 

Seized passports and stamps used in the immigration scam by New Can Consulting displayed by Canada Border Services Agency. (CBSA)

The fines were for falsifying immigration and tax filings. 

Wang had 14 employees but some of them were part of a complex scheme that pretended clients were employees to meet immigration residency requirements in Canada while they lived in China. 

"Mr. Wang did not report any of the income he earned from his fraudulent immigration consulting services to the Canada Revenue Agency."

As for the properties, the claim states that both are "proceeds and instruments of unlawful activity." as they were bought with money made through the illegal immigration business.

Two weeks ago, the CBC's Fifth Estate and Radio-Canada's investigative program Enquête broadcast documentaries detailing Wang's activities.  

With files from Eric Rankin