Montréal, May 22, 2013- Montréal residents Jean-Michel Labelle and Ekatarina Mdivani have been charged with defrauding nearly 400 people from China by billing them for so-called immigration services. They are scheduled to appear at the Montréal Court House tomorrow to each face nine counts of fraud and making and uttering false documents under the Criminal Code of Canada. The fraud is estimated at $600,000.
The investigation was conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Immigration & Passport Section.
Forged Training Certificates
Jean-Michel Labelle, 58, manager of Immigration internationale 9-1-1 Inc. and Ekatarina Mdivani, 48, allegedly defrauded the victims through a representative who travelled to China.
The victims were led to believe that they were engaging into a legitimate employment process through which they could to immigrate to Canada. They paid a sum of money in exchange for training in a particular field of employment. Forged training certificates were issued on behalf of a Canadian federal agency and on behalf of bogus companies.
The investigation shows that Jean-Michel Labelle did not submit any of his files to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and that he kept the money he collected.
The mandate of the RCMP in Quebec is to detect and disrupt criminal activity in relation to immigration, passport and citizenship. The RCMP investigates suspicious activity involving individuals who fraudulently offer immigration advice and services. These profit-motivated criminals abuse the trust of people who put their hopes in immigrating to Canada.
If you have information on illicit activity by individuals or groups of individuals who fraudulently offer immigration advice and services, please contact the investigators of the RCMP at 514 939-8306.