VANCOUVER -- Four residents of Richmond and a man from Yukon have been charged in a "large-scale alleged immigration fraud scheme," according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

Tzu Chun Joyce Chang, 49, Qiong Joan Gu, 66, Aillison Shaunt Liu, 31, and Shouzhi Stanley Guo, 38 - all of Richmond - are facing charges in the investigation, as is resident Ian David Young, a 59-year-old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon.

The CBSA began investigating the alleged fraud in 2015 after being notified of suspicious documents submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in support of permanent residency applications, the agency said in a news release.

"On the surface, these appeared to be nomination certificates from the government of Yukon issued under the Yukon Business Nominee Program," the CBSA said in its release. "However, the government of Yukon confirmed these documents were non-genuine and had not been issued by their office."

None of the applications involving suspicious documents were approved, the agency said, meaning no one was able to immigrate to Canada as a result of the alleged fraud.

The charges the alleged fraudsters now face stem from violations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Criminal Code allegedly committed between July 2013 and September 2016, the CBSA said.

Among those charges are:

  • Misrepresenting material facts in relation to permanent residency applications
  • Communicating false or misleading information with intent to induce immigration to Canada
  • Transferring, selling, or offering to sell forged documents or otherwise make them available
  • Fraud on the government
  • Causing or attempting to cause the use of forged documents
  • Fraud or attempted fraud over $5,000

All five are scheduled to appear in B.C. provincial court in Richmond on Dec. 23, the CBSA said, adding that Young is currently wanted Canada-wide.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the CBSA’s anonymous Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060.