A Yellowknife immigration consultant and his former client are suing each after their contractual relationship fell apart last year, and millions of dollars could be at stake.
When Shengtang Wang, a businessman who owns Northern Sky Films in Center Ice Plaza, emigrated from China, he enlisted immigration consultant Liang Chen.
Court documents indicate that Wang is suing Chen and his immigration consulting company C.L. Pacific Immigration Consulting Ltd. for $125,000 in damages over an alleged breach in a currency exchange contract and for failing to return a $50,000 deposit.
In a statement of claim, Wang, represented by Christopher D. Buchanan of McLennan Ross LLP, is claiming Chen should pay an additional $250,000 in exemplary damages – an order used to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct, and to deter others from engaging in similar actions.
Chen, on the other hand, is claiming the Wang “spread lies about Chen’s personal and professional conducts.”
Considers remarks slander
He stated that the remarks – which he considers slander – have cost him a direct loss of $515,000, plus loss of work and future income. He asserts that Wang has breached three different contracts, in addition to one verbal agreement, and owes him almost $1.8 million. He is also suing for more than $4.6 million in exemplary damages.
Chen does not dispute the claim that he breached the currency exchange contract, however.
The parties agree that in seeking Canadian permanent residency, Wang retained Chen’s services to assist with his Skilled Workers application – a program that allows eligible employers to recruit a foreign national when no such labour can be located within Canada.
Wang applied first to the British Columbia Nominee Program and then to the Northwest Territories Nominee Program when his first attempt was unsuccessful.
In the terms of their agreement, Wang and Chen agreed that Chen would prepare Wang’s application to the Nominee Program and would be his authorized representative. In exchange, Wang would pay Chen an investment deposit of $50,000, which would be returned to him if he “receive(d) a work permit and invest(ed) the requisite amount of money into a company to satisfy the terms of the Nominee Program,” according to the statement of claim.
Immigration consulting fees
The $50,000 deposit was on top of $61,750 paid to Chen in consulting fees.
Wang’s application to the Nominee Program was approved in January 2019 and Wang invested $300,000 to start his company. Despite Wang’s repeated requests, he claims Chen failed to return the deposit.
In his statement of defence and counterclaim, Chen said that both parties “understood that the $50,000 retainer is earned by Mr. Chen.”
Wang says Chen also advised him to purchase $1 million worth of shares in Fortune Minerals Ltd. under the promise that the company would then hire Wang as a skilled worker. In his reply and defence to counterclaim, he said he “relied on the advice and representations of the defendant as a certified immigration consultant.”
He said Chen “negligently or fraudulently misrepresented the requirements for the Employer Program for the purpose of inducing the plaintiff into the alleged verbal agreement.”
In the alleged verbal contract, Chen claims that the two parties agreed Chen would be owed 30 per cent of the total stock value if Wang were to earn at least 100 per cent profit on the investment. He said Wang owes him $1,757,292 in stock commission, which has not been paid.
Wang denies Chen is entitled to the commissions.
As the matter is before the courts, Buchanan declined to comment on his client’s behalf. Chen could not be reached prior to press deadline.