A former immigration consultant was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after defrauding dozens of people hoping to build a new life in Canada.

Sam Burgio, 52, pleaded guilty last March to 12 fraud charges.  His wife of 25 years wiped tears from her eyes during Monday’s proceedings in a Windsor courtroom.

"Mr. Burgio exploited and crushed the hopes of individuals," said Judge Renee Pomerance in court. “They were promised new life in Canada."

He is required to pay full restitution to all those he defrauded.

"Mr. Burgio shows remorse but I don't find it substantial in this case,” Pomerance told the court.

Crown attorney Elizabeth Brown says the decision brings a sense of closure for dozens of victims, to a court case that's stretched for five years.

“These things take time,” says Brown. “It was a very large case. You can imagine the multitude of victims."

Burgio was accused of several offences over a seven-year period between 2003 and 2010.

In pre-sentencing submissions, the court heard that clients gave Burgio between $1,300 and $300,000 to submit their applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the hope of gaining status in Canada.

But, over time, they learned their applications were never submitted.

Defence lawyer Brian Dube declined to comment on the sentencing.