Michael has over 20 years of experience representing individual and small business plaintiffs against the world’s large financial institutions, including Visa, Mastercard, and Chase.
EB-5 Investment Fraud is a type of scheme that exploits the Immigrant Investor Program and targets foreign investors hoping to gain United States citizenship.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program gives foreign investors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain a green card and permanent residency in the United States if they make a significant investment in a United States commercial venture that results in the creation of full-time jobs for United States workers.
Fraudulent businesses market themselves as EB-5 qualifying investment opportunities and recruit foreign investors hoping for a path to U.S. citizenship. Investors who are victims of these scams are not only in danger of losing their investments, but they also risk having their immigration petitions denied.
Victims of EB-5 Investment Scams are encouraged to contact our law firm immediately. We may be able to help you recover your money.
Victim of EB-5 Fraud? Talk to a Lawyer
You may be able to recover your losses. Get a free and confidential consultation.
How Does EB-5 Investment Fraud Work?
Business owners apply to have their businesses designated as “regional centers” for the EB-5 program. These regional centers sponsor capital investment projects for EB-5 investors. Foreign investors look to regional centers to supply legitimate, EB-5 qualifying investment opportunities.
These businesses, however, are not necessarily vetted by U.S. government agencies to ensure they are legitimate. Other businesses market themselves as EB-5 qualifying investments without being designated a regional center at all. These fraudulent businesses collect foreign investors’ money and misuse it for their own purposes. The money does not go towards creating jobs for United States workers or towards stimulating the United States economy, and thus does not qualify for the EB-5 immigration program. Foreign investors are left without their money and without the means of qualifying for United States residency.
EB-5 Investment Scam Alert
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an alert concerning EB-5 investment scams and has urged foreign investors to be cautious of fraudulent investment opportunities. The SEC alert outlines the warning signs of EB-5 Investment Fraud:
- Promises of a guaranteed Visa or permanent residency
- Guaranteed investment returns/Promises of no Investment Risk
- Overly consistent high investment returns
- Investments that are not registered as regional centers
- Unlicensed sellers (Designation as a regional center does not make a seller licensed)
- Layers of companies run by the same individuals
If you are an EB-5 investor, and have been subjected to any of these warning signs, you may by the victim of EB-5 investment fraud. Speak with an experienced securities fraud lawyer to learn how you may recover your losses.
EB-5 Fraud Class Action Lawsuits
Over the past couple of years, some EB-5 Fraud cases have received public attention. Two major cases include:
Jay Peak, Inc. Investigation
The Jay Peak, Inc. lawsuit was filed by the SEC on April 12, 2016. Jay Peak, a Vermont ski resort controlled by Ariel Quiros and William Stenger, raised $350 million in investor funds since 2006. Jay Peak raised the money from over 700 investors around the world through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The investments were supposed to fund the construction of certain projects related to Jay Peak Ski Resort or a Vermont biomedical facility.
However, most of the money was distributed among Jay Peak’s affiliates. Over $50 million of the money raised by EB-5 investors was misused by Jay Peak’s owners to purchase luxury condos, pay the owner’s income taxes, and pay off loans.
Cancer Treatment Center Investigation
On June 2, 2016, another EB-5 Investor Fraud case was announced by the SEC. The SEC filed a complaint against Xin “Lisa” Wang and Charles C. Liu for misusing investors’ money that was raised for the purpose of building a cancer treatment center. Wang and Woo raised over $27 million from Chinese EB-5 investors to build a center that would treat cancer through proton beam radiation.
However, after 18 months there has been no construction at the proposed site, and Liu has transferred $11 million of investor funds to firms in China and diverted another $7 million of investor funds to his wife’s personal account.
Our Success in Investment Scam Cases
Since its inception, Gibbs Law Group has been on the forefront of investment fraud prosecution. We have recovered damages in cases alleging a variety of frauds and scams, including:
Medical Capital Litigation
This class action was brought on behalf of investors who suffered from an investment scam by four different financial entities. These entities disguised Medical Capital notes as reliable investments for their clients, which later turned out to be investments in a Ponzi Scheme. Gibbs Law Group served as Co-lead Council on this case and secured a settlement of $80 million on behalf of investors.
Towers Financial Corporation Noteholders Litigation
Gibbs Law Group served as liaison counsel in this class action brought against promoters and professionals who falsely marketed Towers Financial Corporation’s promissory notes. The Securities and Exchange Commission described this failed investment scam as the “largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.”
American Express Class Action Lawsuit
This class action as brought against American Express Financial Advisors who claimed to offer financial planning and advice tailored to client’s specific circumstances. In reality, these advisors provided “canned” financial planning, and gave clients general advice meant to direct them to specific mutual funds. Gibbs Law Group helped secure a $100 million settlement on behalf of American Express clients in this case.
Auction-Rate Securities Class Action Lawsuits
Gibbs Law Group served as co-lead counsel on a number of lawsuits against banks and broker-dealers who misrepresented the liquidity and risks of auction-rate securities. This misrepresentation resulted in the collapse of the auction rate securities market. The lawsuits helped spark the interest of state regulators, and many Wall Street firms eventually agreed to re-purchase auction rate securities from investors who bought directly from the banks.
H&R Block IRA Class Action Lawsuit
Gibbs Law Group served as co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit against H&R Block. The case alleged that the company mislead customers in the sale of “Express IRAs.” Our law firm helped acquire a $19.4 million settlement to repay the fees charged under the Express IRA program.
Our Featured Investment Fraud Attorneys
Eileen works closely with investors in securities cases and has over a decade of experience in the legal world. She received her law degree from American University in 2005.
David’s advocacy has generated major recoveries for consumers impacted by financial fraud. He was named to the Top 40 Under 40 by Daily Journal and a “Rising Star in Class Actions” by Law360.
Amanda is spearheading a securities lawsuit against NantHealth concerning fraudulent statements to investors about the success of its key product.
Gibbs Law Group’s financial fraud and securities lawyers have more than two decades of experience prosecuting fraud. Our attorneys have successfully litigated against some of the largest companies in the United States, and we have recovered more than a billion dollars on our clients’ behalf.
Our Financial Fraud Experience
We have fought some of the most complex cases brought under federal and state laws nationwide, and our attorneys have been recognized with numerous awards and honors for their accomplishments, including Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California, Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California, The Best Lawyers in America, and rated AV Preeminent (among the highest class of attorneys for professional ethics and legal skills).
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