N.S. sentencing hearing underway for businessman who allegedly underpaid workers
By The Canadian Press
HALIFAX – A Halifax businessman is facing a sentencing hearing today after pleading guilty to submitting false records regarding the employment of foreign workers.
Filipino temporary workers whom Hector Mantolino allegedly underpaid were also in Nova Scotia Supreme Court for the hearing.
Mantolino pleaded guilty last December to misrepresentation under provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which prohibit providing “false or misleading information” to the federal government.
The operator of Mantolino Property Services Ltd. was originally charged in June 2013 with 56 counts of immigration fraud following a Canada Border Services Agency investigation but those charges were rolled into a single indictment.
Mantolino was accused by the federal Crown of advising 28 foreign workers to provide misleading and untruthful statements on their work permit applications between July 2010 and April 2013.
He was alleged to have counselled the workers to lie about their wages if they wanted to stay in Canada _ with some saying in court documents they had stated they would receive a Canadian wage but were paid as little as $3.13 per hour after various deductions.
Today, federal investigator Blair MacDonald was cross examined by defence counsel regarding corrections he has made on a spreadsheet the Canada Border Services Agency presented at an earlier court hearing.
The spreadsheet shows amounts the workers were paid, and MacDonald agreed there had been some errors in the calculations, though he added the errors in the lengthy document were unintentional and didn’t result in major differences in the totals.