Many New York developers have completed their projects with the help of funding raised through the EB-5 visa program. This program was started in 1990 and allows foreign nationals an opportunity to obtain a green card through investments in qualified projects here in the United States. Unfortunately, the program has been tarnished by allegations of EB-5 fraud. The latest allegation involves nearly 200 investors who claim to have been defrauded.
The Chinese investors recently filed a lawsuit against a developer who they claim has defrauded them of an estimated $99.5 million. The lawsuit claims that each investor advanced $500,000 plus an administration fee of $40,000. The project has been successfully completed, but the investors have seen no return on their money. They have further alleged that the developer deliberately structured the loan in a manner that precludes them from filing for foreclosure in an effort to recoup their money.
The lawsuit states that the developer set out to intentionally defraud investors. Furthermore, he has been accused of engaging in fraudulent practices in the past. A lawsuit filed in 2015 stated that he intentionally disobeyed the rules regarding this particular visa program, though that case was later settled. There have been similar lawsuits filed in the past against other developers in the Florida area, but those particular projects were never completed, unlike the current case where the property is doing a thriving business.
The developer has declined to make any comments concerning the allegations of EB-5 fraud. It is unclear whether the investors’ visas have been affected by this case. Those who are residing in New York and are concerned that they have been a victim of fraud may be worried that their immigration status could be negatively affected. They are entitled to seek information concerning their rights from an attorney who has successfully handled immigration issues related to the EB-5 visa program.