A court in the United Kingdom has sentenced an Indian origin woman to five years imprisonment for faking herself as an immigration lawyer and duping vulnerable people of big amounts in name of immigration-related services.
Harvinder Kaur Thethi, 46, of West Midlands was sentenced on Sept.6 on six counts of fraud related to faking herself as a barrister, solicitor, and UK Home Office official. These sentences will run simultaneously, said the statement released by Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), United Kingdom.
She was convicted of these counts of fraud in July at Southwark Crown Court and was remanded pending the sentencing hearing.
Delivering the sentencing judgment, Judge Loraine-Smith at Southwark Crown Court said, “You decided to embark on a fantasy life when you claimed to be a successful lawyer earning a large income. You were nothing of the sort. The large amounts of money you obtained came entirely from the money you had stolen from people you had befriended and cheated.”
Citing the people with precarious immigration status extremely vulnerable, the Judge said, “It is not surprising that if they found somebody they thought was a family friend, they could be convinced to part with large sums of money they could ill afford. You preyed on their vulnerability again and again.”
Thethi committed these offenses between June 2013 – September 2014 in Hounslow, West London. Despite being unqualified, she presented herself as a barrister, solicitor and a Home Office official with the ability to progress immigration applications.
She obtained £68,000 from vulnerable people in the name of providing immigration-related services which were never delivered.
Her fraud was detected after an OISC led an investigation in partnership with Immigration Enforcement and the Metropolitan Police Service.
Dr. Ian Leigh, Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner said, “Ms. Thethi was operating outside of the law, preying upon vulnerable victims without regard for their protection or the consequences of her criminal behavior.”
He said that he was delighted with the outcome of this case, and hoped it sent a clear deterrent message to anyone considering acting similarly.