Articles Tagged with VISA EB-5

photo-PDC-EB5-scam-300x200It’s never a good thing to have a federal judge order a freeze on your business’ assets. That’s what happened to an Orange County firm that federal officials claim stole money from foreign investors, mostly Chinese citizens, who hoped their cash would lead to permanent U.S. residency, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Newport Beach lawyer Emilio Francisco and his investment firm, PDC Capital, face civil fraud charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It claims Francisco spent at least $9.5 million of investors’ cash on personal expenses (some going to help pay for a yacht, a yacht-club membership and his credit card) instead of investments that would qualify investors for the EB-5 visa program, which offers permanent residency to foreigners who make job-creating investments in the U.S.

Investors provided PDC with more than $72 million from 2013 to 2016, according to the SEC’s suit. More than a hundred investors put in $500,000 each. They believed the money would be spent building assisted-living facilities and opening new locations of Caffe Primo, a Los Angeles coffee shop and restaurant chain. The SEC states some of the money went to the promised projects, but millions of dollars were invested in other projects and more than $2 million went to pay Francisco’s personal expenses.

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photo - 3 defendants EB5 fraudThree corporate defendants found themselves in a situation where no one wants to be: trying to convince a federal judge they shouldn’t be held in contempt. The August 30 hearing in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California is the latest chapter in a case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concerning an alleged $27 million fraud scheme.

The money allegedly came from at least fifty Chinese nationals seeking eligibility for permanent resident status through the EB-5 investor program. It allows foreigners investing anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million in a commercial U.S. enterprise, saving or creating at least ten jobs in the process, to have legal status in the country for two years with the potential for permanent legal status in the future.

The Beverly Proton Center, the Pacific Proton Therapy Regional Center, LLC, and the Pacific Proton EB 5 Fund, LLC, through their attorneys told the judge they lack access to the Continue reading

photo - fraud remediesAn ongoing fraud case involving an apparently fake plan to build cancer treatment center located in Montebello, funded by Chinese nationals seeking to take advantage of the EB-5 visa program, is an example of investment fraud. Normally fleeced investors lose money. These individuals also lost an opportunity to obtain at least temporary legal residency status in the country as well.

Investors who have been defrauded can take legal action against those who have stolen their money. How difficult this may be depends on the facts of the case and the applicable laws, which could be state and/or federal laws. Common hurdles in these cases beyond carrying the burden of proving fraud occurred is finding where the money went and then getting it back.

If the allegations against Charles Liu, Xin Wang and three corporate defendants are true, this would be a case of fraud by intentional misrepresentation. While investors were told their Continue reading

photo - eb5 visas by Bryan PociusWealthy Chinese investors must see the U.S. as a good place to put their money and their families. The annual supply of EB-5 immigrant investor visas has been exhausted for the first time in the program’s 24 year history. A surge of applicants from Chinese nationals has swamped the system.

Known as the EB-5, the immigration program offers a green card to any foreigner willing to invest at least $500,000 and generate ten jobs in America. Ten thousand visas are allowed every year. This is the first time the maximum has been reached since the program started in 1990.

For Chinese citizens willing and able to invest the money, this green card offers a way to send their children to American universities, escape heavy pollution and enjoy an improved quality of life. Adding to the program’s popularity is a similar Canadian program ended this year and the Australian version is far more expensive, requiring a $4.5 million investment.

There are 10,300 pending applications and it could take as long as three years for some to be processed. This can be a problem for those hoping to bring their children to the U.S. because they can only receive a green card if Continue reading

DCIM100SPORTThe growing wealth of China and its citizens is resulting in more demand for residential properties in Southern California, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times which cites a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Based on these figures, Chinese real estate buyers have money to spend and they are spending it.

Foreign buyers who reside overseas and in the U.S. accounted for $92 billion in home sales in the 12 months ending in March, NAR reported.

  • That’s up 35% from the prior 12-month period, higher than the previous record of $82.5 billion set in 2012. These buyers purchased about 7% of all U.S. home sales by dollar value.