A fake immigration adviser from Birmingham who conned people out of thousands of pounds – then had his victims intimidated – has been jailed for 27 months.
Safhir Majid, from the Cradley Heath area of the city, co-founded Empire Legal Solutions Ltd in Walsall and posed as a solicitor. Along with his co-founder, Shahid Ahmed Bhatti, he took monies for legal advice on immigration from members of the Pakistani community. In one case they charged a client £4,500.
But neither Majid nor Bhatti was qualified to provide immigration advice and the poor nature of their work has left at least one client facing deportation.
Sitting in Birmingham Crown Court, His Honour Judge Mayo said: ‘You bungled one application and as a result of your incompetence she faces removal from the UK. You threatened her husband and this is despicable behaviour.
‘Offences of this type prey on vulnerable people. Immigration relies on people being properly represented, you were incompetent and greedy. You have made a good deal of money from these frauds.’
Majid, 38, pleaded guilty to five counts of providing unqualified immigration advice and services and one count of fraud by false representation.
Bhatti, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of providing unqualified immigration advice and one count of fraud by false representation. He was given a 16 month sentence suspended for 24 months plus a victim surcharge.
Speaking after the case, Dr Ian Leigh, deputy immigration services commissioner, said the pair created a criminal enterprise and were not competent in providing immigration advice. ‘The degree of culpability is high, as is the harm they have caused,’ he added. ‘They owe a considerable amount of money to individuals, may have caused harm to unknown others and have undermined the immigration system.’