Friday, January 24, 2014

The mystery of the missing EB-5 visas. Where are the missing I-829 approvals for EB-5 visa investors since 2009?

There is an old saying that numbers don't lie. Today, we will take a quick look at figures that folks in the regional center industry don't want EB-5 visa investors to know as these numbers speak the truth about the untold stories of thousands of EB-5 visa investors who've lost their time, money and EB-5 visa by making the mistake of trusting the frauds in the regional center industry.

EB-5 visa investors should know that they only get a conditional green card for the first 2 years and this green card status expires if the EB-5 visa investor isn't able to prove within 2 years that the EB-5 visa investor (or the petitioning regional center) has created the 10 jobs. To remove the conditional status, the EB-5 visa investor has to file the form I-829, and only if the EB-5 visa investor is able to prove compliance with the conditions of the EB-5 visa program (investing the $500,000 and creating 10 jobs), is the investor granted unconditional Permanent Resident Status. If an EB-5 visa investor is unable to prove compliance with the conditions, the EB-5 visa investor loses their LPR status and becomes an illegal alien.

Now that we know the rules, we need to look at the figures which regional center marketers and operators don't disclose to EB-5 visa investors:

In 2011, the number of I-526 Approvals were 1571, and the corresponding number of I-829 approvals in FY 2013 were only 844. This means that 53.7% of the EB-5 visa investors from 2011 actually got LPR status in 2013, while the remaining 46.3% lost their time and money. BTW, EB-5 visa investors should also remember that of the 6517 EB-5 visa petitions (I-526) submitted in 2013, only 3677 were actually approved, while many were delayed, denied or simply withdrawn due to the heavy enforcement activity undertaken by USCIS, ICE, SEC, FBI and IRS.

In 2010, 1369 I-526 approvals were granted, but only 736 I-829 Approvals were seen in 2012, which means that only 53.7% of EB-5 visa investors actually got their permanent green card, while again 46.3% of the EB-5 visa investors actually lost their time, money and their EB-5 visa.

For full statistics on EB-5 visa related petitions and approvals, EB-5 visa investors can download the files from "Complete EB-5 visa related statistics since the Beginning".

The complete statistics for 2013 are as follows:

These figures clearly prove 1 fact: Approximately half of EB-5 visa investors don't get their permanent green cards. EB-5 visa investors should also remember that it is expected that DHS will officially initiate deportation proceedings for over 1500 EB-5 visa investors who were unable to meet the conditions of their conditional EB-5 visa due to strong action initiated by Senators Grassley, Cornyn, Cruz and McConnell. See Senator Grassley's letter to USCIS for further details at Grassley's letter to ICE and ICE memo recommending shutdown of all regional centers.

EB-5 visa investors should ask ALL EB-5 service providers who wish to provide advice or services to EB-5 visa investors, the following important questions and insist on getting the answers in writing in order to quickly weed out the frauds and crooks:

1) Will you be owing me a fiduciary duty if I signed up with you? If the answer is NO, then avoid them.

2) How many years of experience do you actually have with Direct Investments and how many EB-5 visa investors have you actually helped under the Direct Investment Category?

3) In the past, have you sold or marketed regional center securities to EB-5 visa investors? If the answer is YES, please avoid that individual, as it is quite likely that they have committed securities fraud and money laundering.

4) Are you willing to offer a written guarantee of full disclosure of material facts and freedom from conflict of interest?

5) Are you willing to offer a fee refund guarantee in case my case is denied due to your negligence or incompetence?

If a service provider or marketer will not owe you a fiduciary duty, then do NOT trust them at all. It is no secret that there is widespread conflict of interest and fraud going on against EB-5 visa investors, whether you see the example of Joe Sloboda marketing Voodoo BBQ without clearly disclosing his interests as a master franchisor and relationship with Fred Burgess, or the fact that EB-5 visa investors can get more established (and safer) fast food franchises to invest in, when compared to Voodoo BBQ, or the example of David Tashroudian, who wanted a wrap around agreement marketing Carl's Jr. Franchises to EB-5 visa investors, taking over 11 % of the revenues as royalties going into his own pocket, while Carl's Jr. (the franchisor) itself would only get 8.5%.

I do NOT get any money from any franchisor, so our advice on selecting a franchise is objective, impartial and based entirely on merits. I actually offer a written guarantee of freedom from fraud and conflict of interest, and also guarantee full disclosure of material facts, as not only is this good business practice, but by virtue of being a Licensed Real Estate and Business Broker, I'm required by law to do so. As I'm a Licensed Real Estate and Business Broker, I legally owe a fiduciary duty to my clients, which means that I ALWAYS have to place my clients interests ahead of my own.

Recently, DHS OIG also issued a report recommending significant restrictions on regional centers due to fraud, money laundering and other serious issues. USCIS had a joint conference call last year along with SEC, where they indicated significant concerns about securities law violations and fraud committed by regional centers against EB-5 visa investors. SEC also issued their own notice advising EB-5 visa investors to be cautious about dealing with regional centers due to fraud committed by regional centers and unscrupulous partnership promoters.

The fact is, most of the service providers in today's EB-5 services marketplace have aided, abetted, committed or conspired to commit conflict of interest, securities fraud, money laundering, securities law violations and other serious felonies. These range from Matt Gordon, David Tashroudian and Joe Sloboda's conflict of interest laden Direct Investment solutions offered to EB-5 visa investors, to the regional centers marketed by Brian Su and Kevin Jeffers, and the results are delayed processing, low returns, capital losses and denial of permanent green cards.

Why do regional centers offer such terrible results to EB-5 visa investors?

The answer is: Regional centers usually pay a large amount of money paid towards commissions, and also suffer from conflict of interest, where hiring and procurement of goods & services are done from related parties at inflated costs.

If a regional center promoter's first interest is stealing instead of serving their investors, then capital losses, low returns, delayed processing due to increased regulatory scrutiny, terrible exit strategies and high percentage of visa loss are inevitable.

Why do our EB-5 visa investors usually see high return on equity, capital gains, 100% approval of I-526 and I-829, quick approval and no fraud or conflict of interest?

EB-5 visa investors must remember an important fact: As licensed RE & Business Brokers, we actually owe a fiduciary duty to our clients. This means that the law requires us to always put our client's interests ahead of our own. EB-5 visa investors should ask if the service provider owes them a fiduciary duty, and strongly suspect the motives of those who don't owe them fiduciary duties.

This is why we recommend top ranked franchises instead of risky franchises such as Twistee Treat, Voodoo BBQ, Marcos Pizza, etc.
This is why we don't engage in conflict of interest or conceal material facts.
This is why we advise our clients in ways that help them get their green card (EB-5 visa) in a quick, safe and usually profitable manner, as a failure to do so will jeopardise our professional licenses.
This is why we confidently offer written guarantees of full fee refund in case our client is denied due to our fault as well as written guarantees of freedom from fraud, conflict of interest and full disclosure of material facts.

Our competitors usually don't owe a fiduciary duty to their clients and will usually refuse to offer the written guarantees that we confidently offer. We know that our team is quite competent, which is why we've no problems in offering a 100% fee refund guarantee to our clients in case our clients fail to get their EB-5 visa due to our fault. If our competitors were asked to offer the same fee refund guarantee, they usually refuse to do so as they aren't that confident about the level of their services.

Advantages of Genuine Direct Investment Business:

1. Faster processing and approval times.
2. Easy exit strategy.
3. Investors usually get a 15-35% annual Return on Equity.
4. Investors usually get Capital gains, whereas regional center investors usually get capital losses.
5. Our clients have a 100% approval rate of I-526 and I-829, which is a lot higher than regional centers or other partnerships.
6. Full control of business and capital, which helps prevent fraud, conflict of interest and losses.

For more information, please visit our website or read our blog at

If you're an EB-5 visa investor, be sure to hire our team to help you. You'll be glad you did.

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

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