On Thursday 2 August 2018 at Warwick Crown Court, Mr Ajay Kumar Rattu, aged 39 years, of Sanders Road, Hawkesley Village Coventry was found guilty of one count of providing unqualified immigration advice and services. On the same day, Mr Rattu was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment and ordered to pay £2000 in compensation, and an additional victim surcharge.
Mr Rattu promoted the provision of immigration advice and services by word of mouth through his local community, charging £12,000 to submit an application to the Home Office in this particular case. He deceived the victim into carrying out all of the work himself, applications were submitted partially completed and without payment, causing continual refusal from the Home Office and resulting in the victim overstaying his visa. The victim became suspicious and consulted a regulated immigration adviser who referred him to the OISC.
On sentencing, HHJ Potter said:
“You were convicted by a Jury who heard evidence about a man who was concerned about his status in the UK. You held yourself out as a man who was fronting an organisation of lawyers who could help people like him. All you had achieved was taking £12,000 of his money, supplied no assistance, and your advice was worse than useless. This is a fraud in everything but name, aggravated by the cynical way in which you took money from him, aggravated by threats you made to him about what would happen to him. In my judgement your offending was so brazen that I could not pass a non-custodial sentence in this case.”
Speaking about the decision, Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner Dr Ian Leigh, said:
“The OISC is here to ensure that people seeking immigration advice are treated fairly by people they can trust. This was not the case with Mr Rattu. I am delighted with the outcome of this case and hope it sends a clear message to other people considering providing immigration advice to act within the law.”