Agency fined Â£55,000
A court has heard that care home owners across the country had their signatures forged by a crooked nursing agency. Melek Gokcay, 52, a director of Pearls International Nursing Agency of Plymouth was convicted of facilitating the entry of illegal immigrants when she appeared before Plymouth Crown Court. She was fined a total of Â£55,000. The court heard that Gokcay, who had denied the charges, had forged the names and signatures of care home owners and recruitment managers on “employer declarations” in order to convince immigration officials that the nurses had jobs to go to in care homes in the UK. Evidence was given that the Pearls agency charged between Â£450 and Â£1,500 to bring a worker into the country with most of the nurses coming from India, South Africa, Sierra Leone, China and Zimbabwe. Police identified 12 care homes across the country where the signatures had been forged. Investigations showed that the care home owners and recruitment managers had no knowledge of the applications.