'Largest ever' US EB-5 visa fraud case settled
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Anshoo R. Sethi, a Chicago-based hotel developer, was sentenced to three years in prison and required to repay 8.8 million US dollars by a US District Court on Tuesday, after fraudulently raising over 145 million US dollars primarily from Chinese investors, and promising to get them US citizenship with lies and forged documents.
Sethi defrauded the investors into believing his company had all the necessary building permits on a project to construct a convention center near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) halted Sethi’s O'Hare convention center project, and Sethi’s assets were seized. 500,000 US dollars were repaid to each investor, but the 41,500-dollar administrative fee collected from each of them was only partially repaid, with the remainder already spent by Sethi.
It is the largest EB-5 criminal fraud case in the US to date, according to US media.
Non-American investors can apply for the EB-5 visa by investing at least 500,000 US dollars.
The EB-5 visa is a special program for non-American investors who invest at least 500,000 US dollars in approved projects, allowing them to become lawful permanent residents, with the aim of stimulating the economy and creating jobs in the US. The EB-5 visa program attracts at most 10,000 applications per year, mainly from Chinese investors.
Many agencies provide assistance for EB-5 visa applicants in China.
Wang Zhidong, a senior attorney, suggested investors should learn a lesson from Sethi’s case, while warning that applicants for the visa must choose qualified intermediaries with project approval.
- Editor:Albert | Source: Agencies
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