A Waikato woman has been sentenced to 11-and-a-half months' home detention for a scam in which Filipino workers paid money to fraudulently obtain work visas.
Loraine Anne Jayme, a 36-year-old national of New Zealand and the Philippines, admitted forging documents from companies including Fonterra as part of the scam.
Jayme wiped tears from her eyes and smiled at family members from the dock as the sentence was handed down.
"You have been involved from A to Z in committing fraud to ensure visas were issued to applicants from the Philippines," Judge Kim Saunders said.
The prosecution focused on five non-existent dairy farms and fictitious employers created by Jayme through a series of forged documents.
She fabricated job offer letters and employment agreements, including false farm vacancy requests sent to Work and Income which showed suitably-qualified Kiwis were unavailable.
She'd earlier admitted 284 immigration fraud charges for helping 17 Filipino workers obtain work visas by deception.
As well as home detention, she was sentenced to 180 hours' community work.
As part of the offending Jayme forged emails that appeared to be from Fonterra and included them in working visa applications.
Immigration NZ assistant general manager Peter Devoy says the prosecution resulted from painstaking work by immigration officers.
"The officers involved did a fantastic job in gathering evidence which led to the prosecution," Mr Devoy said in a statement.
"Jayme systematically ripped off vulnerable migrant workers. Although these charges are very serious we believe they only represent the tip of the iceberg of Jayme's offending."