Four people from B.C. have been charged, and a Canada-wide arrest warrant is out for a former government of Yukon employee also charged in connection with an alleged "large scale" immigration fraud scheme.
In a news release on Thursday, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said the charges stem from a years-long investigation dubbed "Project Husky."
According to CBSA, the investigation involved "numerous" searches in B.C. and Yukon — including at Yukon's Department of Economic Development, where the accused Yukon man appears to have been an employee.
The investigation began in 2015 when federal immigration officials noticed suspicious documents that were submitted with permanent residency applications.
According to CBSA, the documents appeared to be nomination certificates from the Government of Yukon issued under the Yukon Business Nominee Program.
The Yukon government, however, confirmed to CBSA that the documents were fake.
Five people have been charged in connection with the alleged fraud scheme:
Ian David Young, 59, of Whitehorse
Tzu Chun Joyce Chang, 49, of Richmond, B.C.
Qiong Joan Gu, 66, of Richmond, B.C.
Aillison Shaunt Liu, 31, of Richmond, B.C.
Shouzhi Stanley Guo, 38, of Richmond, B.C.
The five have been charged under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Criminal Code, for violations allegedly committed between July 2013 and September 2016.
Yukoner charged no longer works for gov't
A Canada-wide warrant is out for Young, a former Yukon government employee. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call CBSA's anonymous Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060.
In an email to CBC on Thursday, CBSA spokesperson Luke Reimer confirmed that a search was executed at Young's home and workplace in Whitehorse on Mar. 12, 2019. At the time, Yukon's justice minister also confirmed a search had been done by CBSA agents that day at the Department of Economic Development.
"Any questions related to Young's employment status and the Yukon Business Nominee Program may be directed to the Yukon Department of Economic Development," Reimer's email reads.
"The CBSA does not believe that any other Government of Yukon employees were involved in this alleged immigration fraud scheme."
Patricia Randell, director for Yukon's Justice department, confirmed in an email on Thursday that "the individual is no longer an employee of the Department of Economic [Development]."
"We will not comment on the specifics of the individual's employment with, or departure from, the organization," Randell's email states.
Yukon's Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai was also asked about the investigation on Thursday in the legislature by Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers.
"Given that this is now before the courts, there's actually little I can say," Pillai said.
Pillai also confirmed that Young no longer works for the territorial government, and said the alleged fraud happened between July 2013 and September 2016 when the Yukon Party was still in power.
The five people charged in connection with the alleged fraud scheme are due to appear in B.C. Provincial Court in Richmond on Dec. 23.