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NSW Fraudulent Accountant Offered to Help with Immigration Visa - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Kelly Sutton, 27 November 2015.

  1. Kelly Sutton

    Kelly Sutton Member

    27 November 2015
    Likes Received:

    I am in the craziest situation and I would appreciate any legal help. I was born in the UK, but I am an Australian citizen. I have been with my accountant for nearly two years now and in March 2015, he offered to help me with my mother in law's permanent immigration visa from the UK to Australia. I was grateful for the help and have transferred nearly $30,000 from my account through online banking to his trust account. He advised $4,800 was for the visa lodgement fee and the remaining $24,000 was a refundable bond that would get refunded if the visa was not successful.

    Since then, he has failed to give me any visa reference and has gone so far as to warn me from contacting immigration as I would run the risk of ruining the visa. I have emailed, text and called repeatedly and even have a voice recording of him on the telephone confirming the above, but still I am no further in knowing what is going on.

    I tried to do a charge back through the bank but was unsuccessful and now he is ignoring all my calls! Where do I go from here?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi Kelly, what a stressful situation! In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority. This is the body that regulates their conduct. In fact, it is illegal for a person to practice as a migration agent unless they are registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) and people who practices as a migration agent in Australia but is not registered with MARA risks heavy penalties or imprisonment for up to ten years.

    Since your accountant is no longer even returning your calls. I would contact immigration and determine whether the visa application has in fact been lodged. If there is clearly fraudulent activity happening, I would contact MARA and advise them of the situation and I would see if he is a CPA or similar and contact the relevant organisation to report his conduct. Failing that, I would also report it to the police as if he is defrauding you, it is also a crime which I assume they can investigate.

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