Thursday, September 29, 2011


Incredible story.  I would also suggest that they need to investigate how he obtained his immigration to Canada.

Convicted fraudster faces 149 new charges

Convicted fraudster faces 149 new charges

Acted as immigration consultant; People who took his advice 'may have their status in Canada revoked'

By Paul Cherry, The Gazette
September 28, 2011

MONTREAL - A Montreal man already serving a five-year prison term for bilking the federal government while ruining the lives of people he was supposed to help faces 149 new criminal charges in a separate investigation into his work as an immigration consultant.

Yafim Goikhberg, 46, was returned to the Montreal courthouse this week where he learned he faces new charges involving 48 people who sought refugee status or a temporary resident permit to live in Canada.

Two weeks earlier, on Sept. 9, Superior Court Justice Sophie Bourque sentenced Goikhberg to five years for defrauding eight people who fell victim the moment they set foot on Canadian soil. He was convicted of five counts of fraud, 13 counts related to false documents and two counts of extortion.

One of Goikhberg’s victims was reduced to begging for money in a métro station. Some spent as much as three months behind bars while the federal government tried to establish their true identities. Goikhberg forced one couple to return to Israel when they weren’t able to pay for his services.

Meanwhile, he collected more than $25,000 from a federal government program that provides emergency funds to refugee claimants. The victims never saw a cent.

Those charges were the result of a Montreal police investigation. The most recent charges follow a subsequent investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Goikhberg is accused of “having induced, aided or abetted people to misrepresent themselves and of using forged documents in order to obtain refugee status or a temporary resident permit.”

The CBSA noted that some of the 48 people who took Goikhberg’s advice “may have their status in Canada revoked.”

In the previous case, the victims “did not come to Canada with the idea of immigrating in an illegal way,” according to Bourque’s written decision. They were looking for work, to study or to flee danger in their country.

Goikhberg is a Canadian citizen who immigrated from Russia in 1992.

During the two-month jury trial, he acted as his own lawyer, insulted his victims while cross-examining them, insisted on speaking only in Russian, accused several people of being anti-Semitic and claimed to be the victim of a conspiracy.

A psychiatrist found Goikhberg fit to stand trial – but, in her written decision, Bourque wondered whether he is “completely sane in spirit and equilibrium.”

Bourque noted that Goikhberg filed a motion alleging the judge “is the grand-daughter of Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler.”

According to Bourque’s 17-page decision, Goikhberg would use tips from contacts in Russia, parts of the former Soviet Union and Israel and would wait for his victims as they arrived at the airport.

“From the first meeting, often just as they were leaving the airport in his car, (Goikhberg) would ask for money to pay for services to come,” Bourque wrote.

“At the moment of their meeting with (Goikhberg), they were vulnerable, did not know the language, and didn’t have a place to live or work.”

Goikhberg would bring them to his LaSalle condominium and take control of their lives.

Before presenting their cases to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, he would take their legal identification, replace it with false documents and invent a story in an attempt to obtain refugee status.

The new case against Goikhberg returns to court in October.

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