foreign investors

Navigating the Complexities of EB-5 Visa Investment Fraud: Insights from a Recent Legal Battle

In the realm of immigration law, the EB-5 visa program stands as a beacon for foreign nationals aspiring to secure permanent residency in the United States through substantial job-creating investments. However, the allure of this pathway can sometimes lead to murky waters, as exemplified by a recent lawsuit unfolding in a Florida federal court. At the heart of this legal battle is Fu Jing Wu, accused of orchestrating a scheme that defrauded green-card hopefuls out of millions of dollars.

Fu Jing Wu, alongside co-defendant Wai Kin Benny Lam, faces allegations from plaintiff Chun Liu, a Chinese citizen residing in Portland, Oregon. Liu's lawsuit, initially filed in a Miami state court, accuses the defendants of misleading investors in a venture known as the Triton Center Project. This project was presented as an opportunity to fulfill the EB-5 visa program's requirements by investing in a job-creation initiative.

Like many others, Liu's involvement began with a substantial investment of $500,000, which was supposed to purchase a percentage interest in a commercial enterprise aimed at raising funds for the Triton Center Project. The lawsuit claims that a subsequent phase of the project required an additional investment of the same amount, leading to Wu raising approximately $69 million from investors unaware of the impending misuse of their funds.

The allegations further detail how the invested funds, rather than being used for the intended project, were diverted to personal accounts and offshore entities controlled by Wu. This misallocation of funds extended to acquiring properties unrelated to the Triton Center Project, including a $13 million worth of property and a trailer park in Miami. Despite the significant funds raised, the Triton Center Project remains largely incomplete, leaving investors in a state of uncertainty and financial loss.

In a recent development, Wu has requested the Florida federal court to stay the claims against him while he appeals a decision that denied his request for arbitration and remanded the suit to state court. Wu's appeal, grounded in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Coinbase Inc. v. Bielski, asserts that proceedings should be paused while the appeal on arbitrability is pending. However, Liu contends that Wu's motion is a baseless procedural tactic, emphasizing that Wu is statutorily barred from appealing the court's remand order.

This legal saga underscores the complexities surrounding the EB-5 visa program and the potential pitfalls awaiting unsuspecting investors. For foreign nationals seeking to navigate the EB-5 visa pathway, this case serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the importance of thorough due diligence and legal counsel. As an immigration attorney with a deep understanding of the intricacies of immigration law and a background as a former immigration officer, I can provide the expertise and guidance needed to avoid such pitfalls.

The EB-5 visa program, despite its potential benefits, requires careful consideration and expert navigation to ensure a successful and lawful investment. As this case continues to unfold, it serves as a reminder of the vigilance required in the pursuit of investment-based immigration opportunities.

For those considering the EB-5 visa pathway or facing similar legal challenges, seeking the counsel of an experienced immigration attorney is crucial. With a comprehensive understanding of immigration law and a commitment to safeguarding the interests of our clients, our firm stands ready to assist in navigating the complexities of the EB-5 visa program and other immigration matters.


"EB-5 Visa Fraud Suit Should Be Stayed, Court Hears" by Carolina Bolado, Law360, February 9, 2024.

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