EB-5 Visa Fraud Cases — What Practitioners Need to Know

Under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program, the government grants conditional permanent residency status to individuals who invest $1 million (or $500,000 in rural or high unemployment areas) in an enterprise or business that creates or preserves at least 10 full-time jobs. The EB-5 Program has been a magnet for abuse by parties on all sides of the transactions. Depending on the case, immigration attorneys, foreign investors, and the U.S.-based offerors of EB-5 investments can be defendants or victims. The typical EB-5 scheme is relatively simple, explicit and demonstrable, which makes such cases attractive to prosecutors. William Haddad analyzes a sampling of the cases brought by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and examines potential regulatory and legislative reforms.