A 52-year-old man is facing almost two dozen fraud charges relating to an alleged $800,000 migrant visa scam conducted over a three-year period.
The man was initially arrested in Sydney two days ago following a raid on a Harris Park address where electronic devices and documents were seized, Queensland Police said.
The raid was conducted as part of Operation Romeo Avid, which was launched in 2017 after police received multiple complaints.
The complaints related to two Queensland-based migration services, Global Skills and Business Services, and Specialised Resources Pty Ltd, allegedly defrauding customers between April 2015 and November 2017.
Police allege the man was the director of the two companies that targeted migrant visa holders in Queensland, offering to find them sponsored jobs as a pathway to permanent residency.
He is accused of charging each person between $25,000 and $45,000 for services he did not deliver.
Police say 23 people have made complaints, and the total of the alleged fraud is $799,000.
Detective Acting Inspector Adam Bennett said the nature of the alleged offending was concerning.
He said investigations had identified these jobs did not exist as advertised, if at all.
Police will allege the offender took several measures, including falsifying documents and operating from a professional city office, to legitimise his fraudulent activity to victims.
“As the outcome to this complex investigation highlights, Queensland Police takes this offending seriously, and we will hold those to account who breach positions of trust,” Inspector Bennett of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.
The man’s fraud charges include 19 counts of dishonestly inducing delivery of property exceeding $30,000 and four counts of dishonestly inducing delivery of property.
He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday.