Yellowknife immigration consultant loses another legal battle

Yellowknife immigration consultant has lost two lawsuits brought against him by former clients, and may be about lose two more brought against him by contractors who say he did not pay his bills.

Liang Chen a no-show after filing statement of defence and $6M counterclaim

A Yellowknife immigration consultant failed to respond to a judge's order to provide documents in a lawsuit against him and was held in contempt of court. It's one of several legal setbacks consultant Liang Chen has suffered in the last two years. (Walter Strong/CBC)

The final deadline has come and gone for a troubled Yellowknife immigration consultant in a lawsuit brought against him by a wealthy former client.

A judge found Liang Chen and his company C. L. Pacific Immigration in civil contempt in May.

As a result, former client Shengtang Wang has won his lawsuit for $125,000 in damages plus a further $250,000 in punitive and aggravated damages.

In 2017 Wang, who is from China, hired Chen to help him get permanent residence status in Canada.

According to the lawsuit, Wang agreed to provide Chen with a $50,000 "investment deposit" which would be returned to Wang if he received a work permit and invested the amount of money necessary under the terms of the business stream of the immigration nominee program.

Immigration consultant Liang Chen has been the target of several lawsuits by former clients and business partners. (Submitted by Liang Chen)

In January 2019, Wang's application to the nominee program was approved and he was issued a work permit.

He claimed he asked Chen several times to return the deposit but he failed to do so. In court documents Wang also said Chen agreed to exchange $75,000 Canadian for the same value of Chinese currency. Wang says he gave Chen the Chinese money but Chen did not give him any Canadian dollars in exchange.

Chen filed a statement of defence in the case and countersued Wang for more than $6 million.

But after filing the statement of defence and counterclaim, he took no further action on the lawsuit, despite a judge ordering him to provide information and documents to Wang.

"It's mostly just because I couldn't get a lawyer in town to defend me," said Chen in a brief telephone interview on Friday.

He said all the lawyers he approached said they were in a conflict of interest. He said there were also "other things" going on in his life that prevented him from attending court.

Chen said he did not want to comment on the outcome of an earlier lawsuit by another immigration client. That lawsuit ended with a $185,000 default judgement against Chen in favor of another Chinese client who had agreed to help set up a luxury fur business in Yellowknife's Centre Square Mall.

Chen also has yet to respond in court to claims filed against him by two businesses involved in the same venture. A designer and builder say Chen owes them a total of just under $60,000 in unpaid bills for work they did to set up the luxury fur store.