Former Waltham Forest councillor candidate convicted of providing illegal immigration advice

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

September 30
11:25 2016

Mr Joseph Dyer, of High Road, Leyton, London was convicted on 26 August 2016 at Westminster Magistrates Court of providing unregulated immigration advice. On 29 September 2016 he sentenced by District Judge Tempier to a fine of 200. He was also ordered to pay compensation to the victim in the sum of 900, prosecution costs of 500, and a victim surcharge of 20.

In September 2014 Mr Dyer, a former independent councillor candidate in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, claimed to be an experienced immigration adviser when introduced to a client requesting immigration advice. Mr Dyer told the complainant that he could make an application for the client for a fee between 1,300 and 3,000. He took an initial payment of 1,000 from the client.

The complainant became suspicious when there was no contact from the Home Office. When challenged, Mr Dyer had no explanation and the complainant demanded a refund. Mr Dyer agreed to repay the money in instalments, but after one payment of 100 the payments stopped. When the complainant contacted Mr Dyer to address this, he became abusive and stated that he had no intention of making any further payments. A complaint was then lodged with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Sentencing him, District Judge Tempier said:

I give you late credit for your guilty plea on the date of your trial. The court is in a difficult position because this offence warrants a Community Order, but given your circumstances I cannot impose one. The matter does not reach the threshold for a custodial sentence, because it is one offence. The Court of Appeal authorities do not help me. It was a serious matter because you pleaded at the late opportunity when the complainant was already in court. She was out of pocket. The financial penalty will be 200. I have substantially reduced that to reflect means. I had 600 in mind originally. I am going to say 500 towards prosecution costs and 900 compensation to the complainant. I also impose a victim surcharge of 20.

Speaking about the decision, the Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner, Dr Ian Leigh, said:

The OISC is here to ensure that people seeking immigration advice are treated fairly by people they can trust. Mr Dyer chose to operate outside the law, and without regard for the protection of his clients.

I am delighted with the outcome of this case, and I hope it sends a clear message to anyone considering providing unregulated immigration advice and services.

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