Thursday, February 27, 2014
Looks like several regional center sponsored projects will be the subject of congressional and criminal investigations, while EB-5 visa investors' funds and applications are doomed to be stuck in limbo!
I just read an article released by a Greenberg Traurig attorney who seems to be warning regional centers about a new Congressional Investigation by Senator Coburn, who is now targeting several regional centers.
See link at Another Congressional Investigation targets regional centers.
For those who're unaware, Greenberg Traurig is the SAME law firm that was notorious for the Jack Abramoff scandal, and any Beltway insider can tell you about their reputation. Usually regional centers who've worked with Greenberg Traurig seem to have a rather undesirable track record when it comes to delivering results to EB-5 visa investors. EB-5 visa investors should remember that any entity dealing with Greenberg Traurig should be scrutinised VERY carefully, as the chances of fraud may be exponentially higher with them involved, as they seem to be giving out alerts every so often to folks looking involved in defrauding EB-5 visa investors.
This new investigation follows another scandal which was reported in an article online (see link http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/22/editorial-harry-reids-casino-luck/ ) about Harry Reid and Alejandro Mayorkas helping a regional center raise funds illegally.
Question is: WHY are Senators Grassley and Coburn (see http://www.cis.org/north/sen-coburn-asks-eb-5-questions-uscis-should-be-asking) targeting regional centers who're defrauding EB-5 visa investors?
In short, the answer seems to be political payback, where the real targets are Senator Harry Reid as well as Democratic Presidential Contender Hillary Clinton. Of course, the action can't be seen to be targeted as part of a political vendetta, so a few other major crooks will be targeted too. As it is, when Harry Reid's name is linked to a casino where it is not very hard to find several securities law violations and immigration law violations, and the link is Harry Reid's son (who happens to be a lobbyist for Nazarian), it does not take a genius to get criminal convictions. When the conduit seems to be a dirty former prosecutor who now sits near the very top of DHS (just search online for "Alejandro Mayorkas + Vignali + cocaine + pardon"), it does not take long to get indictments. In the case of Hillary Clinton's kid brother, it is actually a whole lot easier to find securities fraud, money laundering AND securities law violations, and I believe the indictments will be timed just right for the 2016 presidential election campaign, and it will probably yield convictions of Terry McAuliffe, Anthony Rodham and some other notable names as well as a female African American attorney.
What is the safest way to get an EB-5 visa?
It is quite common for EB-5 visa seekers to encounter unethical and unscrupulous crooks who use a wide variety of marketing gimmicks and fancy sales presentations to defraud EB-5 visa investors. EB-5 visa seekers and immigration attorneys need to ask important questions to get facts that will help EB-5 visa investors in separating the unprofessional and dishonest people from the honest and ethical people.
As a rule of thumb, the safest, fastest and usually most profitable way to get an EB-5 visa is to start a business using either a premium franchise in businesses such as fast food, auto parts, family entertainment centers, child care, car rentals, etc. or non-franchise businesses such as skating rinks, produce markets, banquet halls / conference venues, used car lots, etc.
If someone offers EB-5 visa seekers an investment in a partnership or regional center as a way of getting the EB-5 visa, the EB-5 visa investor should insist on having the securities offering physically mailed or emailed from the US and returned by mail to a US address only, as this makes the issuer liable for compliance with US securities laws and holds them accountable for any fraud, as it is common knowledge that regional center and partnership promoters are heavily engaged in committing fraud against EB-5 visa investors, and having securities sold or offered subject to US laws helps in protecting the interests of EB-5 visa seekers. An EB-5 visa investor should also insist on having the securities offering be of at least $500,001, as this requires the securities issuer to offer CPA audited financial statements, which further helps to detect and prevent fraud.
A simple way for EB-5 visa investors to detect & prevent fraud is to demand the following safeguards from those who offer EB-5 visa related services:
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 on an ongoing basis, as failure to do so 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 to 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 the amount of capital that the firm's founders and investors have invested and the percentage of ownership stake and profits that they will get.
Here are some more questions that EB-5 visa seekers should ask in order to make better informed decisions:
1) What is your role and how are you qualified to fulfil that role?
2) What is the license you hold and how does it qualify you?
3) What is your practical experience in EB-5 visa? How many clients have you helped so far and how long have you done so?
4) What is your track record? Have your clients experienced capital loss, visa loss or operating loss?
5) What do you do to help me avoid getting defrauded?
6) Do I fully own and control my business and capital?
7) What is the exit strategy?
8) What is the typical approval time?
9) Are you willing to offer a notarized guarantee saying that you will fully disclose all material facts in an ongoing manner and refrain from engaging in conflict of interest?
10) Do you offer a turnkey solution?
11) Do you expect me to pay for your mistakes, or will you refund my fees in case I'm denied due to your negligence and / or incompetence?
12) Do you have a strict policy of transparently and competitively hiring employees, or do you just hire related individuals who may be less qualified?
13) Do you have a strict policy of transparently and competitively procuring goods an services, or do you procure them from related parties?
An honest service provider will never expect a client to pay for the mistakes and negligence of the service provider, and will always agree to fully disclose all facts. We believe in honesty, transparency and accountability, and we always put our client's interests ahead of our own, which is why we offer an unconditional guarantee that in case our client is denied due to our fault, we will cheerfully refund their fees. Our professional approach is why our clients have never suffered losses (be it operating loss or capital loss) and is also the reason why our clients have never been rejected.
The above is my opinion, PLEASE consult a qualified attorney for advice to confirm that the above is correct. If you're an EB-5 visa investor interested in getting your green card in a safe, quick and usually profitable manner without any conflict of interest and with easy exit strategies, please contact us. You'll be really glad you did.
Mohammed Shaikh, MBA, CFE, Licensed Business & RE Broker (CA & FL)