A man who posed as a solicitor has been jailed for taking thousands of pounds from unsuspecting members of the Pakistani community in Birmingham and then intimidating them.
Safhir Majid, from Cradley Heath, was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to a total of 27 months imprisonment plus a victim surcharge.
His partner, Shahid Ahmed Bhatti, of Great Barr, was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for 24 months, plus a victim surcharge.
Mr Majid, 38, and Mr Bhatti, 39, founded Empire Legal Solutions Ltd in Walsall, West Midlands, where they pretended to be qualified immigration advisers,
with Mr Majid posing as a fake solicitor.
They took monies from unsuspecting members of the public by providing poor advice; in one case a client paid £4,500.
Mr Majid pleaded guilty to five counts of providing unqualified immigration advice and services and one count of fraud by false representation.
Mr Bhatti pleaded guilty to one count of providing unqualified immigration advice and one count of fraud by false representation.
His Honour Judge Mayo said about one particular case: “You bungled one application and as a result of your incompetence she faces removal from the UK. You threatened her husband and this is despicable behaviour, you threatened again in the case of other victims.
“Offences of this type prey on vulnerable people. Immigration relies on people being properly represented, you were incompetent and greedy. You have made a good deal of money from these frauds”.
Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner Dr Ian Leigh, said: “Safhir Majid and Shahid Ahmed Bhatti set up a criminal enterprise to provide immigration advice when they were not qualified or competent to do so.
“The degree of culpability is high, as is the harm they have caused. They owe a considerable amount of money to individuals, may have caused harm to unknown others and have undermined the immigration system.
“These are extremely serious offences. I am delighted with the outcome in this case.”