4 Apr 2017

Work visa fraudster avoids prison sentence

6:46 pm on 4 April 2017

A Waikato woman convicted on multiple visa fraud charges involving Filipino dairy workers has been sentenced to home detention and community work.

Loraine Jayme

Loraine Jayme Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

Loraine Jayme, 36, pleaded guilty to 284 charges including forgery, supplying false information and obtaining by deception.

She was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court today to 11 months and two weeks of home detention and 180 hours of community work.

Jayme, who is a dual Filipino-New Zealand national, charged 17 Filipino migrants more than $2000 each to obtain temporary work visas to work on dairy farms in New Zealand.

She set up an elaborate scheme of forging documents and emails and fabricating letters. The offending was between late 2014 and mid 2015.

She pleaded guilty last year to 284 charges, including forgery, supplying false information and obtaining by deception.

Judge Kim Saunders said there was an element of financial gain and did not accept Jayme's lawyer's submission she selflessly wanted to help migrants.

The judge described it as an extensive fraud, premeditated, deliberate and a serious breach of trust.

She told Jayme her offending went to the heart of the integrity of the New Zealand immigration system.

Jayme's lawyer, Roger Laybourn, said outside court it was a balanced sentence.

"I'm satisfied that the court found did accept [the offending] wasn't primarily commercially motivated."

In a statement, Immigration NZ said Jayme "systematically ripped off vulnerable migrant workers".

Assistant general manager Peter Devoy said the charges represented the tip of the iceberg of Jayme's offending.

He said the offending was serious and would not be tolerated.

Mr Devoy said New Zealand citizens were the victims more so than the 17 migrant workers involved.

"It's the systems that Immigration has in place to protect New Zealand and to protect the border [that] have been the subject of the offending."