Two Bradford men have been given long jail sentences for ripping off vulnerable migrants in an immigration fraud.
Law graduate, Yousaf Amin, labelled the greedy and ruthless brains behind the scam, was locked up for six years.
His school friend and accomplice, Sajad Khan, was imprisoned for four years.
Amin, 34, of Byron Street, Barkerend Road, and Khan, 34, of Whiteways, Bolton, drove luxury cars while fleecing migrants with their criminal company, Temple and Khan, which had an office in Hallfield Road, off Lumb Lane, Bradford.
Both men admitted fraud and Amin pleaded guilty to unlawfully giving immigration advice.
Prosecutor Tom Storey told Bradford Crown Court that Amin served a 15- month jail sentence in 2006 for offences under immigration law.
He was also banned for life from being an immigration advisor after fabricating work permits for restaurant workers. Within five days of his release from jail he and Khan were setting up Temple Khan.
Mr Storey said the business raked in £80,000 and Amin made £262,000 from a bogus company called Training Direct that issued worthless certificates to people taking courses for citizenship.
The court heard that Amin was seeing up to 24 clients a day at Temple Khan.
One woman paid him £3,000 cash towards a £5,000 fee for him to arrange a marriage for her to stay in the UK. Her “bridegroom” knew nothing of the plan and she had to leave the country, losing her money. In 2008, Temple Khan suddenly ceased trading.
Mr Storey said people still turned up at the office complaining they had been fleeced.
Amin charged £350 a day for his citizenship courses, held in Leeds, Glasgow and Luton. He advertised them on the radio and turned up at the end of the day to collect the cash.
Mr Storey said Training Direct was “overwhelmed” by complaints and ceased trading in 2008.
Amin was driving a £42,000 Audi Q7 and Khan was using a £36,000 Volkswagen Touareg. Both cars were on finance and both vanished.
Amin was a big gambler who lost £150,000 in casinos in three years, the court was told.
Khan was taking drugs and drinking to excess. Jailing Amin, Recorder Jonathan Sandiford told him: “You are a thoroughly dishonest and ruthless individual who is perfectly prepared to exploit other people to make profit for himself.”
The judge said Khan was his willing sidekick, who had known about his previous jail sentence because he was in court to support him.
Recorder Sandiford described it as a large-scale confidence fraud targeting “very vulnerable victims”.