24 April 2014

Migration and Fraud

Xiao Ying Wu (aka Amy Wu) has pleaded guilty to forging immigration documents and defrauding clients seeking assistance with visa applications, in order to obtain over $80,000. Wu was sentenced yesterday in the Downing Centre District Court to 21 months' imprisonment (five months to be served) in relation to two Commonwealth charges of using false documents to obtain benefits.

Wu received 18 months' imprisonment (with five months' minimum term) for two charges under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage. That term is to be served concurrently with imprisonment re the Cth offences.

The Court also made a reparation order in relation to the Commonwealth charges of $13,405 and $18,935 to the respective victims. A separate compensation order of $31,550 and $10,000 was made relating to the NSW charges.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Senator Michaelia Cash said that "The government takes allegations of fraud by those in trusted positions, such as registered migration agents, very seriously", noting that any individual who provides immigration assistance in Australia must be registered as a migration agent with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

In unrelated matters the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has this month affirmed decisions to cancel the registration of other migration agents in Chang and Migration Agents Registration Authority [2014] AATA 235 and Qian and Migration Agents Registration Authority [2014] AATA 185 and refuse registration in Haque and Migration Agents Registration Authority [2014] AATA 225.

'Confronting the Two Faces of Corporate Fraud' by Miriam H. Baer in (2014) 66(87) Florida Law Review comments -
Some criminals engage in meticulous planning. Others commit crimes in the heat of the moment. Corporate fraud incorporates both planned and spur-of-the-moment misconduct. Although law and economics scholars have traditionally viewed corporate fraud as a manifestation of opportunism among the corporation’s agents, a new generation of scholars, influenced by findings in behavioral psychology, has focused on the temporal aspects of corporate misconduct. Wrongdoing comes about, not simply because an agent opportunistically takes advantage of her principal, but also because her short-term self falls prey to temptations and cognitive biases that effectively disable her law-abiding long-term self.
Although the law and economics and behavioral psychology accounts separately offer important lessons for observers of corporate fraud, neither theory addresses the regulatory implications confronting opportunistic behavior and temporal inconsistency at the same time. How can an internal corporate enforcer best respond to the “two faces” of corporate fraud? This Article explores this question, first by analyzing the interaction between the two dispositions, and then by considering the relative merits of various enforcement approaches.