Ex-Barrymore lawyer faces charges over allegations of NZ immigration document forgery

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 11 January 2012

Richard James Martin, no longer an immigration lawyer, helped entertainer Michael Barrymore escape a volatile situation in the UK and acquire a New Zealand visa in 2004 under the residency category due to his relationship with his partner Shaun Davis.

Now however, Mr Martin faces the prospect of a maximum 10 year sentence for each of the 34 Crimes Act charges he faces.

He also faces another 34 charges under the New Zealand Immigration Act as well as a further 23 charges laid by the Immigration Advisers Authority.

The majority of the charges relate to the falsification of visa application documents his firm, Richard Martin Immigration, made to New Zealand immigration authorities between May 2009 and 2010. Several of his charges however, relate to forgery as well as illegally asking for or receiving fees for immigration advice.

A spokeswoman for the Immigration Advisers Authority said that Mann had never been licensed as an immigration adviser, but as a lawyer he did not require licensing. The New Zealand Law Society however, confirmed that Mann had been struck off the register in July 2010, although they would not specify the reason why.

Mann is scheduled to appear in the Waitakere District Court on the 17th of February.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.