Suspended sentence for Essex man guilty of providing unqualified immigration advice and fraud

A 62-year-old Essex man found guilty of fraud and providing unqualified immigration advice has been handed three suspended prison sentences.

Winston Leachman of Farmway, Dagenham, Essex, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 5 August to 20 months imprisonment for fraud and 20 months imprisonment for providing unqualified immigration advice, to run concurrently.

These offences are contrary to section 91 of the immigration and asylum act 1999 and section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006 respectively.

In addition, he was given three concurrent sentences of two months for previously failing to appear in court to run consecutively to the above.

In total 22 months imprisonment to be suspended for two years.

The victim was originally introduced to Mr Leachman by family friends in July 2016.

He said that he was able to assist her with a Leave To Remain application because of his experience in the industry.

In fact, he was not qualified to do so, making the wrong application which was subsequently refused. Consequently, the victim lost her job because of her unresolved immigration status. He then failed to return the £800 he charged.

Mr Leachman was also ordered to pay £800 compensation to the victim, £5,000 contribution to prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £140.

He will be placed under a three-month curfew where he will be electronically tagged between 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM and must remain at his home address during these hours each day.

John Tuckett, Immigration Services Commissioner said: “This is not a technical or victimless crime. Mr Leachman was advising a vulnerable person who could not handle her immigration case on her own.

“I am delighted with the outcome in this case.”