Friday, September 6, 2013

Are escrows needed for EB-5 visa petitions? Not really. It's just another gimmick by shady lawyers to make money.

I've been seeing several articles by Mr. Cohen on LinkedIn, who talks about the different types of escrows and regional centers (seriously, just WHO in their right mind is even considering regional centers or partnerships nowadays, especially after reading about the fraud, conflict of interest, multi-agency investigations and delayed processing of regional center sponsored EB-5 visa petitions).

Well, here's news for you Mr. Cohen: We've been creating corporate entities for our EB-5 visa investor clients, and then having our EB-5 visa clients deposit their funds into bank accounts owned and operated by their corporate entities, and there have been no problems whatsoever in getting approvals. The EB-5 visa investor's funds are always under full ownership and control of the EB-5 visa investor, who can immediately repatriate the invested funds back to their home country in case the petition is rejected (which, by the way hasn't happened at all since 2004). The USCIS sees no problem in such arrangements, so please explain to us: Just why would someone put their funds into escrow account controlled by shady lawyers or regional centers or dubious partnerships such as those offered by David Tashroudian or Zoe Makhsous or others, where the partnership / regional center promoter is basically looking to get rich off OPM (Other People's Money) when the alternative is the ability to fully control the funds in a business account owned and controlled by the EB-5 visa seeker?

The fact is, when an EB-5 visa investor opts for Direct Investment Business without any partners, they not only minimise their risk, they also usually earn about 20 times the earnings they'd see (if they're actually lucky to see earnings) with regional centers / partnership promoters / shady franchise promoters who promote franchises with not so great track records such as Marcos Pizza or Voodoo. What these shady franchise promoters such as Fred Burgess (who usually doesn't disclose his pre-existing relationship with Voodoo) / David Tashroudian (who wanted to pocket a full 10% of sales from Carl's Jr. Franchisees by claiming they were royalties) / B. Hall (who tries to sell overpriced franchises of Marcos Pizza to EB-5 visa investors) fail to disclose is the fact that they actually receive undisclosed financial benefits in exchange for placing unsuspecting EB-5 visa seekers in third rate franchises, while we honestly earn our fees by only placing EB-5 visa investors in blue chip franchises (such as KFC / Subway / Napa Auto Parts / Burger King / Wendys etc.) with excellent track records, without getting or soliciting ANY fees whatsoever from the franchisor.

Mr. Cohen talks about regional centers, but neglects to mention that they're not only the target of an ongoing multi-agency investigation for fraud and money laundering that has resulted in regional center sponsored EB-5 visa petitions being delayed for over a year (while Direct Investment Business based EB-5 visa petitions are usually approved in less than half the time) or the fact that regional centers engage in so much fraud and conflict of interest that regional center promoters, CEO's and CFO's refuse to offer notarized affidavits stating that they are not committing fraud or engaging in conflict of interest. Mr. Cohen even refuses to discuss the fact that regional centers and partnerships offer truly shitty exit policies to EB5 visa seekers, due to which funds are locked in for 5-9 years of earning low (or no) ROI. Our clients have easy exit policies as they fully own and control their own business.

Direct Investment Businesses in blue chip franchises (that are fully owned and controlled by an EB-5 visa investor) usually have the following advantages over regional centers / partnerships / third rate franchises:

1) Quick approval: Direct Investment Businesses are assessed very objectively by the USCIS on only 3 criteria: Were funds lawfully obtained and transferred to create 10 permanent full time jobs for US citizens and LPR's (Lawful Permanent Residents)? There are no issues such as tenant occupancy or other subjective criteria used. As a matter of fact, nowadays, EB-5 visa petitions sponsored by Direct Investment Businesses are approved a lot sooner than those filed by Regional Centers or Partnerships as securities law questions are not implicated and neither are indirect job creation criteria used.

2) Excellent ROE: It is quite usual to see annual Return On Equity (ROE) of 20-30%, while those who opt for regional centers and partnerships usually see low ROE of 1% and often see no ROE at all.

3) Easy exit strategy: It is quite easy to sell running Subway or Five Guys or KFC / Taco Bell or Dunkin Donut / Baskin Robbin shops, and quite difficult to sell partnership stakes in regional centers or other partnerships where the EB-5 visa investor supplies most of the equity capital but gets only small percentage ownership in equity.

4) Zero fraud or conflict of interest: We proudly offer a written guarantee of 0 fraud or conflict of interest to our clients, while our competitors usually won't do so as they are more interested in deceiving EB-5 visa investors instead of serving them.

5) Full disclosure of material facts: We proudly offer a written guarantee of full disclosure of material facts to ALL of our clients, while our competitors usually won't do so as they are more interested in deceiving EB-5 visa investors instead of serving them.

6) Capital gains: ALL of our clients have exited with capital gains (which is expected when selling solid businesses), while in 10 yeas I've yet to see even a single regional center client exit with capital gains. Even those who were gullible enough to invest in third rate franchises aren't likely to get capital gains on exit.

7) Full control of capital: Our client's funds are only placed in corporate bank accounts wholly owned and controlled by the corporate entity we set up for our clients.

8) Full fee refund guarantee: We confidently offer a 100% fee refund guarantee in case our client is rejected due to our fault, while our competitors usually NEVER offer this guarantee. We don't believe in making our clients pay for our mistakes, while our competitors do believe in making the EB-5 visa investor client pay for their faults.

As such, whenever EB-5 visa seekers see shady solutions being promoted, they need to ask probing questions in order to avoid being cheated out of their hard earned money. We know that it's hard to earn money and easy to burn money, which is why we work hard to educate EB-5 visa investors, as we believe that an educated EB-5 visa seeker will be our best clients, while our competitors believe that educated EB-5 visa seekers are their worst nightmare.

For more details, please visit our website and join our group 'EB-5 visa - Direct Investment Business".

Yours truly
Mohammed Shaikh, MBA, CFE, Licensed Business Broker (CA & FL)
Phone: +1 407 535 0616

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