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The Simons maintained that they were not running the business but a ministry investigator found that, "had the true ownership of the businesses been disclosed to the Registrar, neither of the business licenses would have been renewed," states the immigration appeal decision.
The government yanked the security company licenses in September 2002 and SecurCom and SecurPro ceased operations.
But ministry officials were concerned that the couple were still offering security through another company, Atina Management Services, and took the unusual step of issuing a warning to local residents about the Simons security operations in April 2003.
Since late 2002, early 2003 the couple testified that they have been working for McGuire Enterprises Inc.
The owner of the company, Don McGuire, testified he was surprised to learn that Sybille Simon, his office manager, had been involved with the misuse of funds and "spoke very highly of (her) and the work she had performed for him," states the immigration appeal decision.
McGuire also hired Peter Simon and trained him as a technician for a new product he was marketing, Crystal Clear Solutions. In August 2003 Peter Simon started a new company, Miracle Windows Inc, not yet registered as a company within B.C., to market the product.
Simon is also taking correspondence with a university in Scotland and has received certificates of achievement in post-graduate business administration, accounting, economics and organizational behaviour. He testified that he is working toward a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the same university.
In making the decision immigration tribunal member Anita Boscariol found the offence which the Simons were convicted of was serious, "involving as it did the defrauding of innocent and trusting people out of what could easily be a sizeable portion of their life savings.
"The seriousness of the offence is also exacerbated by the fact that it was followed by actions which could only be characterized as a deliberate attempt to misrepresent to the Security Programs Division of the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General, the nature of the appellants interest in two security companies in order to maintain the licenses issued to the companies."
There is no evidence that the appellants ever misused the security licenses.
"However, their history in Canada and the fact that they have conducted themselves both dishonestly and dishonourably, both before and after their conviction, renders their overall misconduct more serious," states Boscariol.
She also found the expressions of remorse from the Simons somewhat insincere as they were, "peppered with expressions of the harm which had befallen them "