Wednesday, March 18, 2015

IRS - CID and ICE have started arrests for money laundering and fraud by EB-5 visa investors who chose regional centers. (HH, JTAB)

I saw a news story published today (see link ) about how ICE and IRS - CID indicted an EB-5 visa investor couple for money laundering and visa fraud using forged documents. The ICE website is a lot more detailed on the prison time facing EB-5 visa investors who use forged documents and / or launder funds (see link ).

As I've mentioned earlier in my posts, IRS - CID have also been reviewing all EB-5 visa petitions involving regional centers, but unlike the SEC that asked for the EB-5 visa investor's funds to be refunded, IRS - CID usually seizes funds and assets, and they already know that they easily seize over USD 5 BILLION in laundered funds deposited by EB-5 visa investors in escrow accounts as well as an additional $12-28 BILLION that they have already moved over to the US. Most EB-5 visa investors fail to realize that when the IRS - CID gets involved, funds are usually subject to forfeiture. The upcoming EB-5 visa stakeholder's conference is expected to show a continuing trend of growing backlog of petitions, very long approval times and increased denial rates. I believe over 10,000 EB-5 visa investors will very soon become intimately familiar with the money laundering statutes that authorize the seizure of ALL assets and funds, and not just the invested funds of an EB-5 visa investor.

It is now common knowledge that ICE - HSI and USCIS - FDNS teams are scrutinizing EB-5 visa petitions a lot more diligently than they used to, and they are actually going back and comparing documents such as bank statements, tax records etc. submitted by EB-5 visa investors to the original documents from the investor's home country. What was not known so commonly till now is that IRS - CID were also investigating, and now that we've seen the first known case of asset seizure, we can only expect to see thousands more such cases. My clients and competitors would always wonder why is it that I mentioned agencies such as the FBI, IRS - CID and Dept. of State, but the fact is, they've been investigating and just take their own sweet time in moving. The investigators at Treasure and Justice usually seize all asset, and in easy cases such as poorly laundered funds, the process for asset seizure is quick and easy when it comes to EB-5 visa petitions filed through regional centers.

Since 2012, ICE has officially recommended banning regional centers from the EB-5 visa program and actually said "there can be no safeguards that can be put in place that will ensure the integrity of the regional center model." See link at  Even the SEC warns EB-5 visa investors to avoid regional centers.

EB-5 visa investors need to remember that the ONLY safe way to get approved is through Genuine Direct Investment Businesses.

Here are some of the critical reasons that EB-5 visa investors should ALWAYS choose Genuine Direct Investment Businesses and avoid regional centers:
·         In a Genuine Direct Investment Business, it is quite unusual to encounter fraud or conflict of interest. This alone is THE biggest reason why EB-5 visa investors usually experience capital loss if they opt for regional centers or unsafe Direct Investments (such as Voodoo or Marcos Pizza), while those who opt for Genuine Direct Investment Businesses usually NEVER experience capital loss.
·         EB-5 visa investors who choose Genuine Direct Investment Businesses usually earn annual ROI of 15% to 40%, while those who select regional centers usually earn 0-2% annual ROI.
Genuine Direct Investment Businesses offer easy exit strategies to EB-5 visa investors while those who invest in regional centers experience TERRIBLE exit strategies. 
·         Regional Centers usually commit securities fraud and securities law violations while this is usually unheard of in Genuine Direct Investment Businesses. 
·         EB-5 visa investors usually get capital gains if they invest in a Genuine Direct Investment Business and almost NEVER get capital gains if they invest in a regional center. 
·         EB-5 visa investors in Genuine Direct Investment Businesses usually see faster processing and approval of their petitions, while it takes much longer for EB-5 visa investors to get their immigrant visa through regional centers. 
·         EB-5 visa investors in Genuine Direct Investment Businesses have a higher chance of getting their permanent green card, while those who opt for regional centers have a lower chance of getting their green card. 

If you are a business owner or high net worth individual interested in migrating to the US using EB-5 visa or L1A + EB-1C visa, please contact us for a free consultation. We offer a turnkey solution and have a 100% fee refund guarantee if a client is denied due to our fault.

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

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