Former citizenship judge charged after tests given to Toronto-area consultant

TORONTO – A former Citizenship and Immigration Canada judge is facing charges for allegedly passing copies of citizenship exams to a Toronto-area immigration consultant.

The Mounties allege copies of the tests were used so that clients of a citizenship consultant could gain citizenship without meeting the proper requirements.

Police would not say how many clients were allegedly involved as the investigation is ongoing.

The RCMP say their one-year investigation was started after an internal immigration department fraud probe.

The force says an immigration consultant and an employee of the consultant have also been arrested and charged.

Seventy-year-old Philip Gaynor, who was appointed a citizenship judge in Toronto in 2006, is charged with breach of trust, fraud and theft over $5,000, while Ling Li, 49, and Sui Zhun Mo, 58, are charged with possession of stolen property.

The immigration department website says Gaynor, a Whitby, Ont., businessman, was reappointed to a second term in 2009 by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

According to the department’s website, the written citizenship exam includes questions on the rights of voters, Canadian social and cultural symbols as well as the country’s political history, among other topics.

It adds that if someone fails the written test they get an opportunity to be quizzed on the test questions in an interview with a citizenship judge.