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Campbell Live Uncovers Major Cash-For-Residency Scam

27 January, 2014

Campbell Live Uncovers Major Cash-For-Residency Scam: Immigration New Zealand Investigating

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has requested full details of the multi-million dollar cash-for-residency scam uncovered by Campbell Live.

Tonight’s story was the first in a two-part investigation into the activities of Mr Jerry Lee and My Group Limited, who were revealed to be selling jobs and permanent residence in New Zealand.

In a statement to Campbell Live, INZ said My Group Limited was the subject of an on-going investigation and asked for details of the company’s activity.

Tonight’s story used undercover filming techniques to reveal a major immigration scan. In a covertly filmed interview, intermediary Mr Jerry Lee told a Campbell Live viewer working with journalist Tristram Clayton that in exchange for $40,000 he would receive a job that met the requirements of Immigration New Zealand, plus assistance in securing his permanent residency.

The price was then increased to $45,000. The Campbell Live representative was asked to bring $5,000 to a meeting with Mr Lee, another intermediary (Eddie) and the employer, a representative from My Group Limited. Mr Lee explained the $5,000 was payment for the interview with this company and a guarantee of permanent residency.

Mr Lee admitted on camera that his scheme meant applicants did not need suitable qualifications (he would find them a job regardless) and said he has found jobs for as 40 people, including one who obtained permanent residency without spending any time working for the company that was employing him for immigration purposes.

If any aspect of the job did not meet Immigration New Zealand’s requirements, it would be adjusted. Job titles could be changed, and if the salary was lower than the INZ threshold, the applicant could pay the additional amount themselves – paying it to their employer who would increase their salary by the desired amount and pay the money back to them (less tax).

Campbell Live Executive Producer, Pip Keane says: “Tonight's investigation came about because one of our viewers called up to tip us off, and is the result of hard investigative work by Tristram Clayton and our producer Vanessa Forrest. I'm really proud of our first show.”

Immigration New Zealand commented to Campbell Live: “Immigration New Zealand (INZ) can confirm that it has previously received allegations about My Group Limited and we are investigating the company. The investigation is ongoing.

“INZ takes all allegations of fraud extremely seriously and will prosecute where there is evidence an offence has been committed. As part of our ongoing investigation we will look into the information provided by Campbell Live and would appreciate receiving any other details you have.”

The second part of the Campbell Live investigation will screen tomorrow (Tuesday 28 January) at 7pm on TV3.

ENDS

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