For many foreign nationals, the dream of obtaining a visa to live in the United States seems to be nearly impossible. Though there are a variety of visa programs, quotas and other restrictions make the process difficult at times. Unfortunately, there are times when an opportunity seems to present itself but ends in disappointment when a developer winds up facing accusations of committing EB-5 fraud. Though there are many projects in New York that have come to fruition through this investment visa, not every opportunity is a sound investment.
Recently, a developer was charged with committing wire fraud when he attempted to secure investments from foreign nationals through the EB-5 visa program. This particular visa allows investors the opportunity to apply for a green card, provided that they meet the minimum investment requirements and the project meets the federal guidelines — including providing employment opportunities for citizens. This particular individual purportedly touted a new business venture that could convert carbon materials into electricity and other fuel sources.
According to the formal complaint filed by the federal government, the man sought investments from foreign nationals as well as those located in several western states. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Oregon stated that the company, XFuels, failed to meet the program’s requirements for participation and that it provided fraudulent claims concerning the supposed technology on its website and in printed materials.
The man has entered a guilty plea to the federal charges of defrauding investors by attempting to solicit the minimum $500,000 investment in return for promises of securing a visa. He faces fines up to $250,000 and a possible 20-year prison term when he is sentenced in August. New York residents who are concerned that they have been a victim of possible EB-5 fraud and are worried that it could impact their immigration status are assured of the right to consult with an experienced attorney to assess their current situation.
Source: opb.org, “Clark County Man Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud In International Visa Scam“, Conrad Wilson, March 8, 2018