'Loan' used to sidestep laws, judge rules
Money used for sham marriage to circumvent immigration rules; claim dismissed
Published: Saturday, October 25, 2008
A provincial court judge has dismissed a woman's claim against two other people for repayment of a $15,000 loan, ruling the money was paid for a sham marriage to sidestep Canada's immigration rules.
Li Ying Lao, the claimant, sued her sister-in-law, Hui Xia Luo, and Luo's former husband, Rong Jun Li, seeking repayment of the money.
Luo admitted she received the money but denied it was a loan.
She claimed the money she received from the claimant was part of a $35,000 payment in exchange for Luo marrying the claimant's younger brother, who lives in China.
“The defendant Luo claims the marriage was a sham.” Judge Maria Giardini said in her reasons for judgment.
“It was only entered into to circumvent Canadian immigration laws and regulations. The marriage of the defendant Luo to the brother allowed the brother to apply to be sponsored into Canada as a family member.”
Luo went to China and married the brother on March 9, 2006. The brother's application to enter Canada to live with his wife was refused.
The claimant was asked at trial whether she paid for Luo's air travel to China. At first she denied doing so, but then changed her answer, recalling Luo did not have any cash and therefore she paid for the airfare.
The claimant denied paying about $1,525 to Luo for immigration fees to sponsor the brother to Canada. Lao said she did not know why the brother's application to emigrate to Canada was refused.
The claimant said the brother had a good job in China and there was no need for him to immigrate to Canada. If that was so, the claimant was asked, why did the brother get married to a woman who lived in Canada when he lived in China?
She said Luo and the brother loved each other and after their marriage they had to live together.
The judge concluded: “The claimant has not established, on a balance of probabilities, that the $15,000 she gave to the defendant Luo was a loan.
“Instead, I have concluded the money was given to the defendant Luo as payment for a marriage to the claimant's brother designed to circumvent Canadian immigration regulations.”