Saturday, August 10, 2013

"Pooled Direct investments" are the new name used to describe the fraudulent scheme used by regional centers for several years. Critical questions used to identify a genuine Direct Investment Business and avoid EB-5 visa fraud.

I now heard of a new name used to market old wine in a new bottle, i.e. the same fraudulent regional center business model, where crooks are addicted to OPM (Other People's Money).

EB-5 visa seekers should simply ask the following questions to determine who they wish to work with:

1) Who will you franchise with? If the franchise is with a risky or unproven business model (i.e. Voodoo or Marco's Pizza to name just a couple), then avoid them like the plague. A genuine business broker will only steer his clients towards reputable franchises such as Five Guys, KFC, Subway, NAPA Auto Parts, 7 / 11, etc. A good idea is to look at the top 100 franchisors, and if a company isn't on it, it's probably not a great idea. See

2) What are you putting in, and what are you getting? Usually, the people who put together regional centers / pooled 'direct investments' / partnerships invest little to 0 money of their own, and want to take a lion's share of the profits and equity. In contrast, my clients get GENUINE Direct Investment Businesses, where they own all the equity AND get to keep all the profits. Over a 5 year period, the profits alone usually exceed $500,000 in a Genuine Direct Investment Business, whereas those who try to scam EB-5 visa seekers offer pathetic ROI.

3) What is the exit strategy? Crooks will try to lock in EB-5 visa seekers for 5-9 years, whereas those who opt for Genuine Direct Investment Businesses control their business, including the cash and the decision on when to sell and at what price.

4) Those who offer Pooled Direct Investments don't have a long and successful track record of
, while we have 10 solid years of 100% approvals.

5) We don't ask our clients to pay for our mistakes, while our competitors (regional centers / partnership promoters / crooks promoting third rate franchises) do expect their clients to pay for no fault of the client, as our competitors are unfamiliar with the concept of responsible and ethical behaviour, while we believe in treating our clients ethically, responsibly and honestly, and back up our services with a fee refund policy.

We urge EB-5 visa seekers to compare apples to apples and decide in an objective manner on who to deal with.

Yours truly,
Mohammed Shaikh, MBA, CFE, Licensed Business & RE Broker (CA & FL)

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