The owner of a care agency at the centre of an illegal immigration scandal has been jailed for three years.
Mahendrasing Caussyram and his wife Saraspedy Caussyram, who operated CareFirst 24, were found guilty at Croydon Crown Court for breaching immigration laws.
As Care Home Professional reported at the start of the case back in January, their business was shut down back in 2013 after a raid by the UK Border Agency. Officials discovered that 13 of its 54 workers at its Sutton HQ were in the country illegally.
None of them paid tax or National Insurance and some were working for less than half of minimum wage. At the time of its closure, the care group had lucrative contracts with a number of authorities in London and Surrey.
Mr Caussyram was convicted of breaching immigration law and, as well as being jailed, was disqualified from being a company director for five years.
Mrs Caussyram was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years, with 150 hours community service.
In a tragic twist to the case, an 81-year-old dementia sufferer who was paying £2,000 a month to receive daily care visits from CareFirst 24 died when she was left alone for nine days after the firm was closed.
Surrey County Council admitted it had failed to provide Gloria Foster with the care she needed following CareFirst 24’s sudden closure. An inquest into her death took place a year after her quest, with Surrey County Council promising to do everything in its power to prevent anything like it happening again.
Passing sentence on the Caussyrams, Judge Peter Gower QC said: “There is clear compelling evidence that CareFirst 24 was engaging migrant workers on a self-employed basis in breach of their visas and or after their visas had expired. Equally clear is that the directors of CareFirst 24 undertook an active role in the recruitment of such workers and in controlling the company’s position as regards the legality of their working on its behalf.”