A British lawyer has been found guilty of providing illegal immigration advice, according to a Government statement released on Friday. Edward Sarkoh, 38, of Ida Road, Tottenham, London, was convicted at the City of London Magistrates’ Court of providing unregulated immigration advice and services.
He was sentenced on Thursday (25 June), nine days after his conviction, to ten weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 80 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay compensation to the victim in the sum of £2,350, prosecutions costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £80.
Mr Sarkoh had falsely presented himself as a qualified solicitor to persons from the Sierra Leone community whilst, in fact, he was actually employed at the time of his deception as a bus driver.
During entencing, District Judge Holdham said to Sarkoh, “You pleaded not guilty and claimed you were in a relationship with the victim so I can give you no credit. In some ways you are a talented man but the public are entitled to know that when they receive immigration advice that advisers possess the right qualifications.”
“You have been convicted of providing advice when you are not qualified. This was nothing short of fraud when you claimed to hold these qualifications. This offence passes the custody threshold”.
Speaking about the decision, the Immigration Services Commissioner, Suzanne McCarthy said;
“We have clear standards outlining what we expect in terms of the fitness and competence of regulated advisers. Mr Sarkoh 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- either act within the law or you will find yourself in court”.