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Latino Daily News

Sunday January 13, 2013

Canadian Charged For Scamming Aspiring Foreign Actors in Los Angeles

Canadian Charged For Scamming Aspiring Foreign Actors in Los Angeles

Photo: Immigration visas

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A Canadian national who operated a Los Angeles-area immigration consulting business that sought visas on behalf of aspiring foreign actors faces multiple criminal charges for allegedly cheating his clients out of thousands of dollars in an immigration scam.

Andrew Boryski, 26, was arrested Wednesday by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at Los Angeles International Airport as he prepared to board a flight bound for Canada.

The Saskatchewan native, who now resides in Los Angeles, is charged with 32 misdemeanor counts filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, including 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, Boryski could face up to one year in jail for each count.

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 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS).

The ensuing joint investigation revealed Boryski advertised over the Internet and presented himself at actors’ seminars as an immigration consultant who could help aspiring foreign actors obtain visas to work in the U.S. entertainment industry. Three complaining foreign witnesses, two from Australia and one from Ireland, allege Boryski charged them approximately $5,000 each to assist them in procuring an O-1 visa.

The O-1 visa is intended for established performers with work pending in the United States – not for newcomers to the business without actual employment, as was the case with the victims.

HSI special agents determined Boryski never filed any paperwork on the victims’ behalf 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 and was not licensed to practice law in California.