Bogus solicitor who ‘stole’ law firm’s name given suspended sentence

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2 June 2016

Immigration advice: not a victimless crime

Immigration advice: not a victimless crime

A bogus solicitor who provided immigration advice while using the name of a legitimate law firm has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Peter Campbell, 40, of Forest Gate, London, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to 10 charges of providing unregulated immigration advice and services between March 2012 and January 2016.

Mr Campbell established a business in Newham, London, providing immigration advice and services to a large number of people while using the name of a legitimate solicitor’s firm based in another London borough.

Mr Campbell was not a qualified solicitor, nor was he regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner or the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

He appeared at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, where he was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and 12 months’ supervision by a probation officer on each of the 10 counts, concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs. He asked for five additional, similar offences to be taken into consideration.

The presiding judge, Mr Recorder Wales QC, told Mr Campbell: “This is not a technical or victimless crime, you were advising vulnerable people who could not handle their immigration cases on their own… they trusted you and you betrayed that trust.”

Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner Ian Leigh said: “We have clear standards outlining what we expect in terms of the fitness and competence of regulated advisers. Mr Campbell chose to operate outside the law.

“I am delighted with the outcome of this case, and I hope it sends a clear message to other people considering providing immigration advice – act within the law or you will find yourself in court.”

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