Saturday, March 10, 2012


The case of a man accused of murder arising out of an immigration scam gone astray with tragic consequences, came to a close with his acquittal. See story below.

The real question is how widespread are these "marriages" for money, and anecdotal evidence suggests that they are a real problem in some countries like China and India, but also in Guyana and Trinidad. In a statement released yesterday, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration raised the possibility of laying criminal charges in the future against Canadians who participate in such fraudulent schemes. Individuals are cautioned never to participate in schemes to misrepresent or defraud the authorities.

Toronto News: Port Perry man acquitted of murder in immigration scam shooting -

March 09, 2012

Jeff Mitchell

Jurors returned just before noon to pronounce Danny Nguyen not guilty of murder, a finding that indicates they accepted his claim he was acting in self-defence when he opened fire on two men who tracked him down on March 4, 2010, looking to collect on a debt.

OSHAWA–Danny Nguyen walked out of a courthouse Thursday a free man for the first time in two years, acquitted of all charges relating to a shooting in his Port Perry home that left one man dead and another injured.

Jurors returned just before noon to pronounce Nguyen not guilty of murder, a finding that indicates they accepted his claim he was acting in self-defence when he opened fire on two men who tracked him down on March 4, 2010, looking to collect on a debt.

“It’s finally over,” Nguyen said outside court after Justice Bruce Glass pronounced him a free man. “Now I have to move on with the next phase of my life.

“I’m grateful for life, and I'm grateful for family,” Mr. Nguyen, 29, said moments after sharing tearful embraces with his wife, brother and other family members.

The acquittal was a dramatic conclusion to a remarkable trial.

Jurors, who began hearing evidence last month, heard Nguyen was caught up in an illegal immigration scam, having agreed to travel to China to marry a woman and bring her to Canada. Nguyen’s plan was to quickly divorce the woman and use the $30,000 he was to be paid to marry his Canadian girlfriend, the court heard.

But the plan unravelled when immigration officials sniffed out the scam and denied the woman entry to Canada. Nguyen was instructed to lodge an appeal but backed out, a move he said angered the people he worked for.

Nguyen said he’d been threatened a number of times before the day Andrew Lee Shue and Frank Lee tracked him down at a poker table at the Great Blue Heron casino, seeking to collect on the debt. The men wound up back at Nguyen’s apartment in Port Perry, where he kept documents relating to the marriage and the failed immigration bid.

Nguyen testified the two men became menacing, uttering threats against him and his Canadian wife. He said he pulled out his pistol and began firing in a desperate act of self-preservation.

Jurors began deliberations about suppertime Tuesday and were sequestered for two nights before returning with their verdict minutes before noon on Thursday. Some members of the panel wiped away tears as the verdict was read.

In the moments before the finding was announced, Nguyen, his face drawn, sat hunched forward. He exhaled as the verdicts were announced — not guilty to second-degree murder, aggravated assault and a weapons charge — then gestured to jurors, nodding with his palms pressed together in front of his face.

As the courtroom cleared, he hugged his lawyer, David Bayliss, then fell into long, tearful embraces with members of his family, who attended each moment of the trial and kept a vigil as the jury remained sequestered for two days.

Bayliss applauded the verdict.

“We're very relieved, of course,” he said. “(The jury) found he reacted in a way most reasonable people would react in an extraordinary situation ... he was defending himself and his wife.”

Bayliss said Nguyen’s testimony tipped the scales in favour of an acquittal.

“I thought Danny was a very convincing witness,” he said. “He conveyed his situation very well and the jury tried to put themselves in that situation.”

Nguyen expressed relief at the verdict, and sorrow at the events of two years ago.

“I feel terrible someone was killed,” he said. “My condolences to Andrew Lee Shue’s family.”

He said the long wait for a trial and verdict have been stressful, and thanked his family for their support.

“The last few years have been life changing,” Nguyen said.

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