Those who hope to rebuild their lives in this country have limited choices when it comes to seeking a visa. For some foreign investors, the EB-5 visa can provide them with the opportunity to invest in a real estate project while securing the possibility of applying for a coveted green card. Unfortunately, there are many reports of these investment projects being nothing more than EB-5 fraud that has robbed many New York residents of their money and jeopardized their immigration dreams.
Recently, two men who were involved in a development company were charged with committing several crimes. The men were indicted by a grand jury and then later formally charged with these crimes in connection with an unfinished project that has been dormant since 2014. The real estate development plans were intended to result in a condo and hotel project located in a southern state. According to the charges, the two men, aged 60 and 70, illegally obtained and diverted an estimated $50 million in foreign investments.
Each man faces multiple counts of wire and bank fraud along with several counts each of illegal financial transactions. The men each entered pleas of not guilty earlier this month during their federal court hearings. One of the men had been ordered to home confinement. He has since been permitted free movement in his community while wearing an ankle monitor.
Each count of illegal money transfers carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, while the bank and wire fraud charges carry a maximum of 20- and 30-year terms respectively. There were no details concerning the victims of this alleged EB-5 fraud and whether they will be reimbursed for their lost investments or receive their visas as they may have been promised. New York residents who fear they have been a victim of a similar fraud may seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can protect their rights while working to find the optimal outcome for their situation.
Source: therealdeal.com, “Palm Beach development duo plead not guilty to EB-5 fraud charges“, Mike Seemuth, April 21, 2018