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Former Alberta MLA Carl Benito facing immigration fraud charges

Former Tory MLA Carl Benito.
Former Tory MLA Carl Benito.

A former Edmonton Tory MLA is facing a number of fraud-related charges for allegedly employing unauthorized foreign workers over a period of several months.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on Tuesday charged 65-year-old Carlito Benito and 25-year-old Charles Benito for allegedly employing unauthorized foreign nationals at Triple Maple Leaf Canada Corporation, Helping Migrants Canadian Immigration Corporation and World Immigration Group Corporation from November 2015 to October 2016.

Carlito Benito, known more commonly as Carl, served as the Alberta Progressive Conservative MLA for Edmonton-Mill Woods in 2008. He ran and lost as an independent in 2012.

The CBSA says as licensed immigration consultants, the Benito’s counselled temporary foreign workers in Canada to apply for student permits despite there being no intention of them going to school.

CBSA says this was done to allow for workers to extend their status and allow them and their spouses to stay in Canada longer. The border agency added the Benitos and their associates also allegedly provided cash loans of up to $17,000 for individuals to meet the financial requirements to apply for the student permit.

The offences are said to have occurred between November 2015 and June 2018.

Carl Benito faces numerous charges including nine counts of unauthorized employment of foreign nationals, mischief and misrepresentation.

Charles Benito faces similar charges of unauthorized employment of foreign nationals, misrepresentation and counselling, aiding, abetting misrepresentation relating to a study permit loan scheme.

The two are scheduled to make their first court appearance Thursday in Edmonton.

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