Former councillor convicted of providing illegal immigration advice
Former Hounslow borough councillor, purported to be an experienced immigration adviser convicted.
Ms Bobbie Wason, of Netley Road, Brentford, was convicted at City of London Magistrates’ court on 4 counts of providing unregulated immigration advice and services.
On 8 April 2016 she was sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment on each count to run concurrently, suspended for 2 years. She was also ordered to pay £600 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £80.
Ms Wason, a former Hounslow borough councillor, purported to be an experienced immigration adviser when introduced to a client. He was seeking to assist his son and family to obtain leave to remain in the UK.
Ms Wason charged fees of £3,200 for her services. The victim became suspicious when the Home Office refused the application and complained to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
The investigation uncovered a number of similar applications had been made by Ms Wason over a period of years through her own organisation named Enough Is Enough..
Sentencing Ms Wason, Judge Hannay said:
“You need to be clear that these are serious offences that you have pleaded guilty to. These offences are aggravated having taken place over a long period of time resulting in clear prejudice to the victims.
“They are also aggravated by your knowing disregard of the statutory regime, and we are alarmed at your misuse of clients’ money. However you have assisted the investigation and returned some of the money but these matters are so serious that only a custodial sentence will suffice.”
Speaking about the decision, the Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner, Dr Ian Leigh, said:
“We have clear standards outlining what we expect in terms of the fitness and competence of regulated advisers. Ms Wason chose to operate outside the law.
“I am delighted with the outcome of this case, and I hope this sends a clear message to other people considering providing immigration advice - either act within the law or you will find yourself in court.”
Published: 8 April 2016