It is now possible that a reputed
Another California regional center which was co-founded by a super sleazy politician who is also a former elected official, is also reportedly under investigation for helping launder funds and securities fraud, and one of the partners is reportedly a member of Chinese gangs known as triads.
I believe both of the above stories should result in indictments and arrests in the coming year, and the poor investors who invested money with these regional centers will lose their time, money AND their green cards.
EB-5 visa investors who wish to avoid controversy and get their green cards in a safe, quick and usually profitable manner should seriously consider investing in Genuine Direct Investment Businesses.
What is a Genuine Direct Investment Business? How can an EB-5 visa investor know what is a Genuine Direct Investment Business? A Genuine Direct Investment Business has the following characteristics that makes it the BEST choice for EB-5 visa investors:
- The business is 100% owned, operated and controlled by the investor. This helps avoid conflict of interest and significantly reduces the possibility of fraud. This means that regional centers and partnerships can never qualify as Genuine Direct Investments due to the presence of fraud, conflict of interest and violations of securities laws.
- The business is in either a premium franchise such as Five Guys / KFC (for Fast Food), Napa (Auto Parts), Hertz (car rental) etc. or in a solid non-franchise business such as banquet hall, used car lots, child care business (these can be franchised or non-franchised), etc. If the proposed investment is in a relatively new franchise such as Voodoo BBQ, Marcos Pizza, etc. the investment is likely to be quite risky. Some easy ways to decide whether a franchise is suitable for investment is to find out if it is on a major bank's list of approved franchises, features in a list of top performing franchises (see link http://www.slideshare.net/MohammedShaikh4/2012-top200 ) and is recommended by an experienced business advisor. Please remember that most franchises are unsuitable for EB-5 visa investors due to their inability to PROFITABLY generate 10 jobs. If you see promoters such as Joe Sloboda and Fred Burgess asking you to invest in Voodoo BBQ, ask them to full disclose their financial stake in Voodoo BBQ, and why are they engaging in conflict of interest.
- The Business Advisor / Broker as well as the CPA (and the franchisor in case the EB-5 visa investor chooses a franchise) are there to guide and mentor the EB-5 visa investor till approval of the I-829.
- The business is easily saleable in the open market and there exists a ready market demand for the business. For example, it is easy to sell off a Five Guys Burger Franchise location or a KFC location in the open market in a relatively short time and get multiple offers for the business, while there is no market for partnership and regional center shares or debt, due to which EB-5 visa investors are stuck for 5-9 years and have to PAY to sell their share. Similarly those who invest in risky franchises such as Marcos Pizza or Voodoo BBQ or some no-name burger franchise would have to wait a long time to sell their business.
- It is usually easy to PROFITABLY generate the 10 jobs.
- The EB-5 visa investor gets FULL control and ownership of their business and corporate funds. This helps prevent if not eliminate conflict of interest and fraud, and results in higher returns and capital gains.
- The EB-5 visa investor usually earns 20-35% Return on Equity each year, while regional centers offer measly returns of 1% and some partnerships are now known to offer returns of up to 5%, but most offer between 0 and 1% annual return on equity.
- The EB-5 visa investor usually earns solid capital gains averaging 25% after 3 years, while those who invest in risky franchises, partnerships and regional centers usually end up with capital losses.
- The EB-5 visa investor has an easy exit strategy and can sell their business (usually for a profit) as soon as they get their permanent green card (I-829 approval), whereas those who opt for risky franchises, partnerships and regional centers are often unable to exit their business for 5-9 years.
- It takes about half the time to get the I-526 approval (temporary green card) using a Genuine Direct Investment Business in comparison to regional centers.
- Genuine Direct investment Businesses are usually able to help the EB-5 visa investor get their I-829 approved, whereas less than half of the EB-5 visa investors who chose regional centers, partnerships and risky franchises were able to get their I-829 approved.
- There is usually no conflict of interest and fraud seen in a Genuine Direct Investment Business, whereas there is usually extensive conflict of interest and fraud to be found in regional centers, partnerships and risky franchises. An excellent example is how Joe Sloboda and Fred Burgess used to sell Voodoo BBQ franchises to EB-5 visa investors without disclosing the fact that they were the master franchisors and earned money on the back end.