In one of the latest immigration frauds to be reported from the US, a woman in Silicon Valley has been directed to pay USD 50,000,000 as part of a settlement to federal regulators. It was alleged that the said woman – Bethany Liou, a resident of San Mateo County in California and the sole owner and operator of Golden California Regional Centre – misused funds acquired through US EB-5 visa program.
Cease-and-desist proceedings were instituted – as per File No. 3-19597 – by the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] in keeping with Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933.
No wrongdoing was admitted by Liou in the SEC settlement filed.
The SEC alleged that Bethany Liou had sold a total USD 45,000,000 worth of securities to around 90 investors. These securities were sold as “limited partnership interest in GCRC Cupertino Fund”. However, instead of deploying the funds to the developer in keeping with the offering documents of Cupertino Fund, the amount was transferred to accounts in Liou’s name. The investor funds were then pledged as “collateral for a line of credit”. This was deemed to be a violation of Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act.
The settlement of USD 45,000,000 is partial culmination of a lawsuit that was filed by various Chinese investors. The lawsuit shall continue despite the settlement.
These Chinese investors had wired funds to Liou in 2016 seeking US Green Cards through the EB-5 visa program.
What is EB-5?
Investors – as well as their spouses, and children [unmarried, below 18 years] – can apply for a US Green Card if they make the necessary investment in a US-based commercial enterprise, and plan on creating/preserving 10 permanent full-time jobs for US workers that are qualified for the same.
Why is it called EB-5?
The name “EB-5” comes from Employment-Based 5th preference visa that the applicants receive.
Why was EB-5 created?
EB-5 program was created in 1990 by Congress, with the aim of stimulating the US economy through the creation of jobs and investment of capital by foreign investors.
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