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Yellowknife businessman suing immigration consultant for $375K

A lawsuit filed by a Yellowknife businessman claims the person who helped him immigrate to the city never returned a $50,000 deposit and owes him another $75,000 for breaching a currency exchange contract. None of the claims have been proven in court.

Shengtang Wang seeking compensation for breach of contract, other damages

A statement of claim filed on Nov. 12 names Yellowknife businessman and immigration consultant Liang Chen, along with his company C.L. Pacific Immigration Consulting Ltd., which is based in Burnaby, B.C. (Walter Strong/CBC)

A lawsuit filed by a Yellowknife businessman claims the person who helped him immigrate to the city never returned a $50,000 deposit and owes him another $75,000 for breaching a currency exchange contract.

A Nov. 12 statement of claim was filed by Shengtang Wang and names Liang Chen and his Burnaby, B.C. company, C.L. Pacific Immigration Consulting Ltd.

Wang, who's also known as Tony, operates NorthernSky Films, a 360° dome theater in a Yellowknife plaza, billing itself as the city's newest attraction. He's suing Chen for $125,000 and a further $250,000 for aggravated and punitive damages. None of the claims have been proven in court.

Chen told CBC News he plans on filing a statement of defence and counterclaim this week. CBC News reached out to Wang through his lawyer for comment, but the request was declined.

Wang is being represented by the same lawyer as a Chinese woman who successfully sued Chen for more than $185,000 in damages after she claimed she was forced to withdraw from the territory's business stream of the nominee program.

That matter went to a default judgment earlier this month after Chen did not file a statement of defence or appear in court.

Claim says 'investment deposit' never returned

According to Wang's statement of claim, he immigrated to Canada from China in 2015. He too applied to the business stream. Successful applicants are provided with a letter of support from the territory toward their application for a work permit from the government of Canada.

In 2017, Wang hired Chen to help him with the immigration process. The agreement included 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 nominee program.

The claim said that once those conditions were met, Chen was to return the deposit within a day.

It also said Chen asked Wang to pay the deposit directly to him, rather than his company.

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.

Currency contract

The statement of claim also alleged Chen breached a currency contract with Wang. In Nov. 2019, Chen asked Wang if he would exchange Canadian currency for Chinese currency as a favour.

Wang was to send him 396,000 yuan in exchanged for $75,000 Cdn. Wang sent him the Chinese currency but claimed Chen never paid him.

B.C. court rules against Chen

Chen and his Burnaby, B.C. company were also successfully sued earlier this year by a family that hired him to help them immigrate to British Columbia.

According to court documents, the family sued Chen and his company for negligence, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty after their immigration applications were denied.

They hired him in 2013 to help immigrate to Canada through the province's nominee program. In March 2016, Chen submitted their application. The family claims they heard nothing back from Chen for months, despite requesting an update.

Three years later, the family learned a decision had been made about their application. They found out later that Immigration Canada had sent six letters between January 2017 and December 2018 to Chen about their application, which the family claims he never relayed to them. They were informed their applications had been withdrawn from the province's nominee program because they failed to provide the documents that were requested. 

The family said it reached out to Chen, but he did not respond.

The court case went to default judgment in May in B.C.'s Supreme Court after Chen did not file a statement of defence.

When CBC reached Chen over the weekend, he said he was experiencing some financial trouble at the time and was unable to travel down south when the case went to court because of the pandemic.

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