The federal government oversees all of the visa programs in New York and the rest of the country, and as a result, it reacts with harsh penalties whenever one is suspected of violating the laws and procedures regarding these visas. One program that seems to sometimes be more susceptible to illegal activity is the one that allows foreign nationals to obtain a green card through investing in real estate projects that provide employment opportunities for U.S. workers. One man has recently agreed to drop his fight against EB-5 fraud allegations.
The United States Exchange and Securities Commission has proffered a settlement with the developer for approximately $18.4 million along with his agreement that he will not be involved in the selling, offering or issuing of stipulated securities. A district court judge will still have to approve the agreement. Along with this portion of the case against this man, he is still facing criminal charges related to fraud allegations in the visa program.
The federal government filed the criminal charges after the man purportedly defrauded more than 280 foreign investors who thought they were helping with development projects in the Seattle area. However, the developer is accused of using the money for personal use, including purchasing a personal luxury residence. If the man agrees to repay more than $24 million to some of those investors and relinquish the titles to his real estate holdings, he can avoid the $18 million in the civil suit.
The man is facing 10 years in federal prison on the EB-5 fraud charges. He opted to enter a guilty plea for those crimes, which also included charges of wire fraud. This visa program was intended to benefit investors who were looking for a way to enter this country while also providing American workers with employment opportunities. There may be immigrants currently residing in New York who believe they may also have been the victims of this type of fraud. They can seek the assistance of an attorney who specializes in this type of visa fraud.
Source: heraldnet.com, "Everett developer Lobsang Dargey won't fight fraud lawsuit", Dan Catchpole, March 3, 2017