An international cookery school secretly provided $3000 in cash to incriminate a rival school's manager on immigration charges, a court has heard.

Defence lawyer Paul Wicks accused witness James Liu of passing an envelope with the money to his client, Kingsland Institute general manager Donald Han, as part of a sting planned by North Shore International Academy (NSIA) to trap Han on immigration offences.

Han faces two charges of providing false or misleading information to an immigration officer.

The prosecution claims Han set out to deceive Immigration NZ for personal gain by adding $3000 to the bank account of Lan Luo, to make it look as if she had $10,000 to live on.

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The defence claims Han was set up by Mr Liu, the brother of NSIA director Cherry Liu, and Ms Luo, whose boyfriend worked at the academy.

In the Auckland District Court, Mr Wicks accused Mr Liu of preparing for the sting in February 2009 by visiting Kingsland's campus in Panmure under an assumed name with a would-be student, who he pretended was his daughter.

He returned with Ms Luo a month later to try to trick Han into temporarily putting the $3000 into Ms Luo's bank account, but Han repeatedly refused to co-operate.

Mr Wicks said eventually Mr Liu took out a white envelope containing $3000 and persuaded Han to give it to Ms Luo - who was out of the room at the time - as if it came from the Kingsland Institute.

Han, Mr Liu and Ms Luo then went to a nearby National Bank, where she deposited the money, produced a bank statement showing more than $10,000 in her account, then withdrew the $3000 again.

Mr Liu denied providing the money or receiving it back afterwards. He admitted visiting the school the previous month with a woman but could not remember her name or how he met her.