Bogus solicitor sentenced to 8 months' imprisonment suspended for 2 years.
Mr Peter Campbell, 40, of Forest Gate, London, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 4 May 2016 to 10 charges of providing unregulated immigration advice and services between March 2012 and January 2016.
Mr Campbell established a business in Newham, London, providing immigration advice and services to a large number of people while using the name of a legitimate solicitors firm based in another London borough.
Mr Campbell was not a qualified solicitor, nor was he regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner or the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Mr Campbell appeared at Southwark Crown Court on 1 June 2016 where he was sentenced to 8 months’ imprisonment suspended for 2 years, 200 hours of unpaid work and 12 months’ supervision by a probation officer on each of the 10 counts, concurrent. He was also ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs. He asked for 5 additional, similar offences to be taken into consideration.
On sentencing, the presiding judge Mr Recorder Wales QC said of Mr Campbell’s actions:
“This is not a technical or victimless crime, you were advising vulnerable people who could not handle their immigration cases on their own… they trusted you and you betrayed that trust”
Speaking about the decision, Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner, Ian Leigh said:
“We have clear standards outlining what we expect in terms of the fitness and competence of regulated advisers. Mr Campbell chose to operate outside the law.
“I am delighted with the outcome of this case, and I hope it sends a clear message to other people considering providing immigration advice – act within the law or you will find yourself in court.”