By Edwin Folven, 1/17/2013
A Canadian national who allegedly cheated aspiring actors in Los Angeles out of thousands of dollars in an immigration visa scam has been charged with multiple criminal counts.
Andrew Boryski, 26, who operated a Los Angeles-area immigration consulting business that sought visas on behalf of aspiring foreign actors, is charged with 32 misdemeanor counts, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. He is facing three counts of grand theft, one count of practicing law without a license, and 28 counts of violating provisions of the Immigration Consultant Act. If convicted, he could face up to one year in jail for each count.
The Saskatchewan native, who now resides in Los Angeles, was arrested last week by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at Los Angeles International Airport as he prepared to board a flight bound for Canada. After receiving several complaints about Boryski, the City Attorney’s Office sought HSI’s assistance in investigating the case. Coincidentally, HSI had also received a lead about Boryski’s possible involvement in immigration fraud. The ensuing joint investigation revealed the suspect advertised over the Internet and presented himself at actors’ seminars as an immigration consultant who could help aspiring foreign actors obtain a visa so they could find work in the United States. Three victims, two from Australia and one from Ireland, allege Boryski charged them approximately $5,000 each to assist them in obtaining a visa.
“This suspect, who’s an aspiring actor himself, has landed a role in a real life crime drama,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HIS in Los Angeles. “The fraud perpetrated by unscrupulous consultants who prey on innocent victims undermines the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system and ultimately hurts us all.”
Unbeknownst to the victims, the type of visa Boryski was promising is intended for established persons in the entertainment industry with work pending in the United States, not for newcomers to the business without actual experience. HSI special agents determined Boryski never filed any paperwork on behalf of the victims and failed to follow through on repeated promises to refund the victims’ money. Investigators found Boryski did not file an immigration consultant bond with the Secretary of State, or comply with other regulations, and was not licensed to practice law in California.
The probe into Boryski is ongoing, and investigators believe there may be additional unidentified victims. Anyone with information should contact (866)DHS-2ICE, or visit www.ice.gov.