Former Barrymore lawyer faces immigration charges
An ex-immigration lawyer who aided British entertainer Michael Barrymore in obtaining residency in New Zealand has to face almost 100 charges that are immigration-related, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.
Mr Richard James Martin, aged 46, entered no plea in response to the charges upon appearing at Waitakere District Court on Monday, making his second appearance since 20 December The hearing will go through as if a not guilty plea was entered unless Martin changes his plea to guilty.
The charges are mainly relative to falsifying documents on visa applications sent to Immigration New Zealand directly from his company - Richard Martin Immigration Ltd of North Shore. The suspect faces at least 34 Crimes Act charges as a result of being suspected of forgery and providing information that was both false and misleading to immigration officers. Should he be found guilty, Martin faces a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment for each one of the Crimes Act charges in addition to a fine of $100,000 NZD.
As if that weren’t enough, Martin also faces at least 23 charges laid down by the Immigration Advisers Authority. He will have to appear for trial at Auckland District Court sometime in September. The charges include 11 for receiving or demanding fees for giving immigration advice as well as nine for providing advice on immigration when not licensed or exempt. The remaining three charges include two charges for forgery and one for holding out as an immigration adviser. Allegedly, the crimes occurred between May 2009 and May 2010.
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