Monday, September 30, 2013

I read an article that I suspect was written by someone who was paid to promote fraudulent regional center & partnership securities. Have I just discovered a new crook out to deceive EB-5 visa seekers?

I'd love to ask Ms. Barella a few fundamental questions about the article she published at

Has she ever done real due diligence on any securities offering, leave alone regional centers?

Ms. Barella says, "Many EB-5 professionals engage in the business of providing investment advice regarding EB-5 projects; however, only a Registered Investment Advisor is qualified (and granted authority by the SEC) to provide such advice. " I say, nonsense. I've been exposing the fraud committed by regional centers & partnerships for years now, and helped EB-5 visa seekers avoid getting defrauded by regional centers & partnerships. There are strong reasons why SEC won't act against those who help EB-5 visa seekers avoid getting cheated by regional centers & partnerships.

Ms. Barella claims, "Attorneys, real estate agents, and EB-5 consultants often provide investors with advice on which regional center project to select for their EB-5 investment.  Whatever name they go by it leads to the same conclusion – these professionals are providing unauthorized and unregulated investment advice." What Ms. Barella is unaware of is, at least this broker (yours truly)  does things legally as I don't charge any advice whatsoever about the suitability of regional centers. Frankly speaking, none of the regional centers I know of is worthy of being invested in as they are all engaged in fraud, conflict of interest and violations of securities laws (including securities fraud).

Ms. Barella claims "Real Estate brokers do not possess the proper credentials or registration to advise on EB-5 projects.  EB-5 consultants are essentially holding themselves out as Investment Advisors all the while masking their doings with the title of, “consultant.” Besides being a licensed RE Broker, I've also been a Certified Fraud Examiner for a long time and actually help EB-5 visa seekers by providing information that helps them identify and avoid fraud. I know that I can and actually have identified how regional centers and partnerships engage in fraud, securities fraud, violations of securities law, money laundering, etc.

Finally, this statement took the cake: " Foreign nationals wishing to gain lawful permanent residency in the United States should be weary of any professional assisting them in the selection of a particular EB-5 project.  Besides not being qualified or authorized to provide advice, these professionals are in violation of federal law.  Just as an Investment Advisor would not file an immigration petition or assist a client in the sale or procurement of a property, an attorney and real estate broker should not give investment advice unless they are properly registered. " It apparently implies that real estate brokers (especially those qualified as business brokers) can't advise their clients on selecting a business either, and to this I say, nonsense. Business Brokers who're licensed as RE Brokers are actually able to advise their clients on any acquisition, merger or sale of small businesses, and this is an exemption that is codified into state statutes too.

I can honestly state that Direct Investments in Businesses are the safest, fastest and usually the most profitable way of getting EB-5 visas, and in 10 years I've yet to see an RIA objectively and uniformly expose fraud. Some RIA's such as MG apparently avoid speaking out against the fraud committed by entities that pay them directly or indirectly.

It is quite common for honest and diligent RE brokers to offer a guarantee of freedom from conflict of interest and fraud, while crooks who try to lure EB-5 visa investors into investing in worthless regional center securities / partnerships / third rate franchises will always refuse to offer the following safeguards to EB-5 visa investors:

1) A written guarantee by the top 5 officers of the regional center / partnership firm AND the marketer, confirming that they will clearly disclose all material information at the very onset and on an ongoing basis. In the US, failure to disclose material information by sellers of securities is classified as SECURITIES FRAUD.

2) A written guarantee that the marketer and regional center / partnership officers will NOT engage in conflict of interest, and will procure goods / services and hire employees in a transparent and competitive manner.

3) A written guarantee that they will fully refund an investor's fees in case the investor's petition is rejected due to the fault of the regional center.

4) A full disclosure of what is the amount of capital that the firm's founders and investors have invested and what is the percentage of ownership stake and profits that they will get.

EB-5 visa investors need to remember that Direct Investment Businesses that choose blue chip franchises (such as BK, 5 Guys, KFC, etc.) wholly owned and controlled by the EB-5 visa investor usually offer a safer, faster and very profitable way to get the EB-5 visa, and those who opt for regional centers or partnerships or third rate franchises will usually end up with delayed processing, capital lossess and low (or no) ROI caused due to extensive fraud, nepotism & conflict of interest, terrible exit strategies and high rate of denial of I-829.

Our EB-5 investor clients who opted to start Direct Investment Businesses in quality franchises such as 5 guys, KFC, McDonalds, etc. as opposed to regional centers / partnerships / bottom tier franchises such as Voodoo or Marcos offered by our unscrupulous competitors, usually find that they have the following advantages:

1) Great annual profits, averaging 22% annually, and usually ranging from 20% to 30% annually. The lowest amount any of our clients has ever earned is 15% annual profit, and that was a special case.
2) Capital gains: Our recommended businesses usually appreciate while Marcos pizza locations or other third rate franchises will usually sell for a massive capital loss. In 10 years, none of my clients have had a capital loss, and most investors in regional centers have suffered full or partial capital loss.
3) Easy exit strategy: You will find more buyers for 5 guys / KFC restaurants in comparison to Voodoo BBQ offered by Joe Sloboda or Marcos Pizza or any regional center.
4) Easy approval with USCIS and with banks: Bank underwriters are very picky, and they won't approve Voodoo BBQ locations easily, but will easily approve premium franchises such as 5 Guys / KFC / etc. because of their track record and market reputation. USCIS will also easily approve known and reputed brands with solid track records, while they won't do so with our competitors.
5) Full disclosure of material facts: Unlike David Tashroudian or the Voodoo promoters Joe Sloboda & Fred Burgess or Regional Center promoters, we clearly and fully disclose material facts to our clients, which is why we confidently offer written guarantees of full and clear disclosure of material facts.
6) Fee refund guarantee: We know that we do a thorough job, and therefore confidently guarantee our work, while our competitors refuse to stand behind their work. This shows EB-5 visa investors who is a professional and who is not.

If you're interested in getting your EB-5 visa in a quick, safe and usually profitable manner, please call us. 

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

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