October 19, 2020

ICAC hears former Wagga MP Maguire ‘paid cash’ by visa consultant Maggie Wang for worker scheme | The Canberra Times

news, national, Wagga MP, Daryl Maguire, Wagga Wagga, ICAC, Maggie Wang, G8wayinternational, Independent Commission Against Corruption

An immigration consultant has told a corruption hearing that she regularly paid up to $20,000 in cash to former NSW Riverina based MP Daryl Maguire in Parliament House as part of a Chinese worker scheme. Former Beijing finance worker Maggie Wang detailed to the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Tuesday how she was allegedly recruited by Mr Maguire, Wagga RSL director Phillip Elliott and Wagga financial planner Julian McLaren to advise on how to profit from Chinese visa applicants. Cottontail Wines owner Gerry McCormick also reappeared to admit giving false testimony the previous day. Ms Wang said she met Mr Maguire to exchange cash on about a dozen occasions, either in Parliament or at a cafe in Martin Place. She said the cash given to Mr Maguire was the remainder from fees and costs paid by Chinese visa applicants and her share was usually about $5000. Ms Wang told ICAC she joined the scheme in 2013 as part of Mr Maguire’s failed plan to use the proposed $400 million Wuai International Trade Centre in Wagga to generate visas for “about 100” Chinese families. Multiple Riverina business owners have previously told ICAC that Ms Wang approached them with offers of $30,000 in cash to take part in a “scam” to provide Chinese migrants with a “false” nominated workplace for visa applications. Ms Wang said Mr Maguire approved the scheme’s details, nominated Wagga businesses to target and checked her progress on deals. Ms Wang said Mr Maguire moved on to finding Chinese people who would qualify for a visa through making a “significant investment” in regional NSW, which also failed in its goal to collect $50,000 commissions. Ms Wang then suggested using a regional migrant worker program and Mr Maguire allegedly told her which businesses to approach in the Wagga area because he “knew a lot of people”. “He will ring the business and come back to me and say ‘contact this business’,” Ms Wang said. READ MORE: Ms Wang said she calculated a “lump sum fee” involving payments to herself, Mr Maguire, the business and to reimburse employee wages and superannuation. Ms Wang said she gave this figure to an immigration agent, who would speak to the visa applicants and supply about $70,000 cash to split between the parties involved. The agent had a list of Chinese visa applicants “in her database” who were educated, had skills, could pass an English test and “be willing to pay that much,” Ms Wang said. Ms Wang said it was “correct” that she reported back to Mr Maguire on the “long and slow process”. The workers rarely or never turned up to their nominated places of employment. Ms Wang accepted that on at least one occasion she copied and pasted the signature of a business owner on documents. Ms Wang said she was paid $1000 from G8wayinternational, a company allegedly run by Mr Maguire, and she believed the cash she provided would go to its account.

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