Introducing Barton Middleton

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The Senate Select Committee learned this week, that the mysterious “Mr. Middleton,” who has been named in several testimonies as a key player in a visa fraud scheme being investigated at the Immigration and Nationality Department, is Barton Lee Middleton of Orange Walk.

Immigration Officer, Inez Casanova, testified before the Committee this week, positively identifying Lee Barton Middleton to the Committee as being the Mr. Middleton referred to in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department.
She explained that she met Middleton through his brother Eugene Middleton, who worked along with her at the Immigration Department. Casanova also disputed the Auditor General’s statement that Middleton was her common-law husband.

“No person by that name of Mr. Middleton was ever my common-law husband. This false information has caused a great hurt and embarrassment to myself and my family…,” Casanova said.
She maintained that she never had any personal relationship or connection to Middleton, despite her calling him on his cell phone to meet with authorities about the investigation into the visa fraud. She said that she only called Barton Middleton when Eugene (Middleton) did not answer his phone.

During his testimony, Immigration Officer Mark Tench said that “Mr. Middleton” was in possession of six of the eight visa foils which were reported stolen from the Immigration Department’s Western Border office in 2012.
Patrick Tillett testified that Middleton was paid to take six visa applications for Chinese nationals up to Belmopan for processing and follow-up. According to Tillett, Middleton received $3,000 a piece to submit the applications.

During their testimonies, both Tillett and Tench said that they could not remember “Mr. Middleton’s” first name.
Erwin Robinson, former Immigration Department employee who was suspended after the Kim Wong Hong scandal broke, also testified this week. In his testimony, Robinson said that he understood the optics of the situation, but maintained his innocence.

“I feel like I’m being framed,” Robinson said.
He also told the Committee that computers can be compromised at any time, giving way to the possibility that a hacker could have been responsible for the Kim Wong Hong incident.

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