Archive for February, 2013

USCIS Updates EB-5 Policy Memorandum

Posted on February 15th, 2013 by admin

February 15, 2013

As we previously reported, in an effort to streamline the EB-5 adjudication process, USCIS is developing an EB-5 Policy Memorandum and the latest version was posted for public comment on February 14, 2013.  The latest version of the EB-5 Policy Memorandum contains numerous businesslike advances demonstrating the commitment by USCIS to improve the EB-5 program.  The final date for public comments is Monday, April 1, 2013 and comments should be sent to opefeedback@uscis.dhs.gov.

The draft EB-5 Policy Memorandum is available here.

SEC Halts $150 Million EB-5 Investment Fraud

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by admin

On February 8, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges and an asset freeze against the Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago, A Chicago Convention Center and its principal, Anshoo R. Sethi. The SEC alleges that Sethi and his companies fraudulently sold more than $145 million in securities and collected $11 million in administrative fees from more than 250 EB-5 investors primarily from China. The SEC alleges that Sethi and his companies fraudulently misrepresented to EB-5 immigrant investors that they had acquired all the necessary building permits, that several major hotel chains were involved in the project and that additional financing was available to complete the project in addition to the EB-5 investment proceeds. The SEC further alleges that the offering materials falsely claimed that construction would begin in the summer of 2012 and occupancy of the first tower would occur by early spring 2014. In furtherance of their fraud, the SEC alleges that Sethi and his companies provided falsified documents to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to obtain preliminary approval of the project and the immigrant investors’ I-526 petitions. The SEC acknowledged the substantial assistance of the USCIS.

The SEC press release and SEC complaint can both be viewed by clicking here.