- At least 95%, if not a full 100%, of the regional centers operational today have attempted to or actually marketed and sold securities ILLEGALLY in China, India, etc. I've personally contacted the regulators in China (CSRC) and India (SEBI) to confirm that regional centers are illegally offering and selling securities in China. I actually challenged the IIUSA (the trade association of regional centers) on several occasions to name even ONE regional center that has lawfully marketed and sold securities overseas in the past 8 years, and they didn't name even one.
- Regional centers usually don't disclose the material fact that they're illegally marketing and selling securities.
- Regional centers also usually don't disclose the material fact that they pay illegal commissions to unlicensed securities brokers (also known as immigration agents / immigration lawyers etc.) to help them illegally market and sell securities to EB-5 visa investors.
- Most, if not all, regional centers engage in extensive conflict of interest, and fail to clearly disclose this material fact to EB-5 visa investors.
- In the US and also in most other countries, a failure to disclose material facts constitutes securities fraud, and I can state with 100% confidence that most, if not ALL of the regional centers have attempted to commit or actually committed securities fraud. I can also state with 100% confidence that most, if not ALL, of the regional centers have also committed mail fraud and wire fraud.
- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report last month finding that the information systems and processes of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers EB-5, limit its ability to address fraud, verify job creation mandates required under the program, and screen applicants for potential national security risks.
- There is a documented history of regional centers getting laundered funds from EB-5 visa investors.
- There is no denying the fact that as per USCIS data, a significant percentage of EB-5 visa investors who've applied through regional centers do NOT get their I-829 (permanent green card) petitions approved. In plain English, approximately less than 50% of EB-5 visa investors actually get their permanent green card through regional centers.
- Most EB-5 visa investors actually experience partial or total capital loss if they invest in regional centers.
- Most regional centers have engaged in money laundering and have knowingly aided and abetted money laundering and have also accepted laundered funds.
As the entire regional center industry itself survives only due to committing securities fraud and engaging in massive securities law violations in the US and abroad, they should NOT be allowed to continue to function, and the morally right thing for Congress to do is to remove regional centers entirely from the EB-5 visa program.
The simple fact is, EB-5 visa investors have a significantly better chance of getting their permanent green cards safely and profitably if they invest in Genuine Direct Investment Businesses as those who invest in Regional centers usually get an annual return of 1%, while those who invest in Genuine Direct Investment Businesses usually get an annual return of 15% from their business. Statistics show that those who invest in Genuine Direct Investments usually get their I-829 approval while a high percentage of EB-5 visa investors in regional centers don't get I-829 approval.
The above facts make a strong case showing why regional centers should be removed from the EB-5 visa program.
Mohammed Shaikh, Certified Fraud Examiner, Licensed Business Broker (CA & FL)
Online: Smart Business Broker Inc.
Phone: +1 407 535 0616.