SEC files complaint against Joel Burstein for conduct related to the Jay Peak EB-5 Fraud

On September 6, 2018 the SEC filed a complaint against Joel Burstein for conduct related to a fraudulent scheme connected to an EB-5 regional center. The SEC alleges that Mr. Burstein aided and abetted fraud “in connection with the purchase or sale” of securities, and aided and abetted fraud in the offer or sale of… Read More

A discussion of the SEC’s administrative enforcement action against Ireeco, LLC and Ireeco, Ltd.

Order Instituting Proceedings On June 23, 2015 the SEC initiated the first action “against brokers handling investments in the government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.” According to the Order Instituting Proceedings (“OIP”), Stephen Parnell and Andrew Bartlett formed Ireeco, LLC in 2006 in Boca Raton, Florida. Similarly, they formed Ireeco, Ltd. in 2012 in Hong Kong… Read More

Summary of reasons for regional center terminations

Recently US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) began posting some of the Termination Notices for regional centers that have lost their designation. While not every Termination Notice has been published, some patterns have emerged as to the common reasons for termination. Read More

Additional tips to avoid becoming an EB-5 fraud victim

In a recent call with EB-5 stakeholders, USCIS discussed several tips for avoiding EB-5 fraud. Similar tips can be found on the SEC’s website, which includes an investor alert issued in 2013. Some of the tips, however, may be less than effective. For example, asking if the promoters are being paid will not help if the promoters do not tell the truth. Instead of relying on the word of promoters, prospective EB-5 investors may want to focus on conducting independent research and learning from SEC enforcement actions in the EB-5 context.  Read More

USCIS Publishes Talking Points from November 7, 2017 EB-5 Stakeholder Engagement

USCIS held an EB-5 stakeholder engagement call on November 7, 2017 and has published its talking points from the call on its website. Highlights from the call include discussions of the Regional Center Compliance Review Program, customer service, and how to avoid being a fraud victim. Additional topics included the use of “hybrid teams” to adjudicate… Read More

Putting the SEC’s CanAccord No Action Letter into the EB-5 Context

On January 18, 2002 the SEC issued a ‘No Action’ letter to CanAccord Capital Corporation (“CanAccord”), which was actively seeking “investments” for an immigrant investor program in Quebec, Canada. Unlike section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the statute governing the Quebec immigrant investor program explicitly provides for reimbursement. Act Respecting Immigration to Quebec… Read More

The U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card Program

After brief correspondence with a colleague who travels to China frequently, it became apparent that the U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card (“ABT Card”) Program is not as well-known as it ought to be. Since DHS will stop issuing these cards on September 18, 2018 people who travel to China regularly for business, such… Read More