23 Jun 2014

Lawyer admits immigration charges

7:35 pm on 23 June 2014

A former lawyer has pleaded guilty to 93 charges related to legal advice on immigration.

The charges included providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt, forgery and supplying false or misleading information to an immigration officer.

Richard James Martin had previously surrendered his practising certificate, so was therefore unlicensed to provide services.

The Auckland District Court was told on Monday that between May 2009 and September 2010, Martin provided advice to 10 families, forged lawyers' signatures and used licensed immigration advisers employed by his company to sign off visa applications of clients they had never met.

Judge Mary Elizabeth Sharp said she was satisfied that Martin lied throughout his testimony and, that if it suited him, he would swear black was white.

Martin has been remanded in custody to be sentenced in August.