Penticton’s Singla Brothers Holdings Ltd. has been sentenced to a total of $75,000 in fines for charges related to immigration fraud.
The Crown stayed all charges against Paul Singla, 70, this summer.
The Singla Bros. Holdings company was in Penticton provincial court on Wednesday for sentencing, where Judge Gregory Koturbash agreed to the joint submission by Crown and defence, and gave the company 15 months to pay the fine.
On Aug. 20, Singla Bros. Holdings, through defence lawyer Ian Donaldson, pleaded guilty to six counts of counselling or attempting to counsel people to misrepresent or withhold facts related to immigration applications.
Singla Bros. had previously amalgamated with the Trout Creek Fruit Stand, and the combined company had enabled the fraud by providing cheques for one false employee to the Lower Mainland based Can-Asia Immigration Consulting.
Can-Asia also seperately established fake email addresses in the Singla Bros. and Trout Creek Fruit Stand names for the purpose of making phoney jobs and requests for workers for positions that didn’t exist, the court heard in the joint submission.
Singla Brothers Holdings was represented solely by its lawyer in court.
Donaldson told the judge that it would be accurate to say that the company was reckless in signing documents without looking at what they were. He further stated that Singla has documented cognitive damage as a result of a beating he received in 2010. The medical expert that was consulted by the defence said it makes sense that Singla would have signed something without reading it.
“If Mr. Paul Singla were to speak, he would say he regrets his involvements; that it was unfair to people who come to Canada legitimately; he would say he loves Canada and his community, and that he profoundly regrets the harm that he has caused and he apologizes to court and Crown counsel and to the residents of Canada for the consequences of his actions through the company.”
The judge said the significant fine should send a message that Canada takes these kinds of charges very seriously.
CORRECTION: The Western News incorrectly reported that Singla Bros. Holdings provided cheques for false employees when in fact it was paycheques for ONE false employee. The article has since been corrected.
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