http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9020640.htmlRussian man gets 45 days in jail for lying on immigration form
By STEVE BRUCE Court Reporter
Mon, Apr 25 - 3:22 PM
A Russian man who jumped ship in Halifax back in 1992 has been given 45 days in jail for forging his ex-wife's signature on his application for permanent resident status in Canada.
Ruslan Tikhomirov, 42, was sentenced in Halifax provincial court last week on an Immigration and Refugee Protection Act charge of misrepresenting the facts.
The Crown proceeded by indictment against the Halifax man, which meant the maximum penalty for the offence was five years in prison or a $100,000 fine.
The prosecutor asked that Tikhomirov be jailed for 90 days, while defence lawyer Geoff Newton proposed a period of probation or a fine.
Judge Bill Digby said incarceration was necessary in this case to send a message of deterrence to the public and to immigrants considering lying on their applications.
Tikhomirov, whose claim for refugee status after he jumped ship was unsuccessful, has been fighting a deportation order from Citizenship and Immigration Canada since the 1990s. He married a Canadian woman in 1995 but they separated in 1999.
Court was told that the Russian pretended he was still married to the woman when he filed new immigration documents a few years ago. Because of some discrepancies in the forms, the application was referred to immigration officers for further investigation.
Those officers, after detecting the fraudulent behaviour, passed the matter on to the Canada Border Services Agency, which pressed charges.
Blair MacDonald, an investigator with the agency, said the government treats this kind of offence seriously.
“There's a process for foreign nationals to become permanent residents of Canada,” MacDonald said.
“Their truthfulness is essential and an integral part of the process.”
The deportation order against Tikhomirov remains in place, the court was told.