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Lawyer convicted of forgery agrees to resign from Law Society of B.C.

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A B.C. lawyer who was sentenced to 22 months in prison last year for his participation in efforts to deceive Canadian immigration authorities has agreed to resign from the provincial law society. 

The Law Society of B.C. said in a statement Friday that Roger Balraj Singh Bhatti had reached a consent agreement regarding the society's professional misconduct proceeding against him.

In the agreement, Bhatti admits he engaged in dishonourable conduct in relation to clients he represented who were seeking refugee status in Canada between 2002 and 2014.

The misconduct involved submitting fake medical notes to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in order to obtain adjournments of proceedings, as well as submitting false evidence on behalf of his clients, according to the law society.

"The false evidence included police reports, medical reports and a death certificate that he knew had been falsified in order to support his clients’ refugee claims," the law society said in its statement.

In the consent agreement, Bhatti agrees to resign from the law society and not to apply for reinstatement.

In May 2022, he was sentenced to 22 months in prison after pleading guilty to 17 criminal charges.

The sentencing decision in his case provides additional information on the immigration scheme Bhatti helped orchestrate. 

He pleaded guilty to three criminal counts of forgery, six criminal counts of uttering forged documents and eight counts of misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Acts.

The criminal counts all had to do with forging medical documents in order to get hearings postponed. The violations of the IRPA relate to forging medical and police reports "in concert" with a Hungarian interpreter in order to make false claims on applications for refugee status, the court documents say.

The eight counts of misrepresentation all stemmed from refugee claims made by Hungarian nationals who identified themselves as Roma and were seeking refugee status due to persecution based on their ethnicity.

In all, the court heard that Bhatti provided forged documents in five cases. Some of the claims were successful and some were not, but in all of them, Bhatti used the information from the forged documents to plead his clients' cases and deceive the board.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Lisa Steacy Top Stories

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