Maggie Wang, claimed to run visa ‘scam’ for former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire, due to appear at ICAC | The Canberra Times

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A woman accused of recruiting and paying businesses in a cash-for-visas “scam” allegedly linked to former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire is due to appear at a corruption hearing this week. The first week of Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings into Mr Maguire heard claims that Maggie Wang handed business owners cash to take on Chinese visa applicants who never showed up to work. Ms Wang, who witnesses have claimed was involved in attempted or successful cash-for-visa schemes at six businesses is listed to appear at the upcoming ICAC hearing on Tuesday. ICAC has heard that Ms Wang was employed by a Wagga-based company called G8wayinternational, which was allegedly set up to generate profits for Mr Maguire. As multiple witnesses have testified, the alleged scam would allow Chinese nationals to apply for a visa and begin a path to permanent residency, often while doing little or no actual work. The witnesses claimed these workers had no intention of showing up to their contracted employment, which ranged from trainee accounting to a highly paid consultancy position. In one case, a worker called Stephen Xu allegedly completed only one day of work and made a few phone calls for a Temora beef export company in exchange for remuneration equivalent to $240,000 a year. Mr Xu’s nominated employer, Temora real estate agent Angus McLaren, agreed with counsel assisting ICAC Scott Robertson that he “didn’t really care” about what he was paying Mr Xu because he was getting all costs paid back in cash from Ms Wang. “I thought it was a good deal,” Mr McLaren told the hearing. Creative Business Furniture partner Peter Wood and Great Southern Electrical managing director Shaun Duffy have both testified to participating in similar schemes that allegedly involved Ms Wang making payments for hosting Chinese workers. Mr Duffy provided ICAC with photos of more than $27,000 in cash that he said was leftover from a bag of $100 and $50 notes supplied by Ms Wang. Wagga RSL director Phillip Elliott has claimed that he ran G8wayinternational on behalf of Mr Maguire, which allegedly took commissions from business deals and fees for introductory meetings in China and Australia. Mr Elliott told ICAC that G8way hired a “specialist” immigration agent called Maggie Wang, who allegedly ran a scheme to offer $30,000 in cash, or more, plus employee costs reimbursed, if a business hosted a Chinese worker. Mr Robertson asked “although Mr Maguire was not formally appointed as a director of G8wayinternational, he did the kinds of things that a director might do. Do you agree?” “Yes,” Mr Elliott responded. Mr Elliott told ICAC that Mr Maguire gave him cash to hold for G8wayinternational that was generated from “immigration services”. Mr Maguire’s alleged business partner and a former employee have also claimed that Mr Maguire instructed them to “delete” business records or allow his files to get “lost in the post”. In one extraordinary afternoon at ICAC, Mr Maguire’s former secretary admitted to keeping the hard drive from Mr Maguire’s parliamentary computer in her Parliament House office for the past two years, which led the hearing to be adjourned while the data storage device was secured. Mr Maguire’s solicitor has disputed claims that he gave the staffer the implication she should lose the hard drive. Mr Maguire has yet to be called to appear at the hearings, which will resume at 10am on Monday with Wagga RSL general manager Andrew Bell and Cottontail Wines owner Gerry McCormick due to give evidence.

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