The EB-5 visa program, designed to enable foreign investors to obtain U.S. green cards through substantial job-creating investments, has recently been at the center of a legal maelstrom. As reported by Rae Ann Varona in Law360 on January 9, 2024, two men accused of defrauding millions of dollars from green card hopefuls through this program are set to face allegations in Florida state court.
The defendants, Canadian citizen Fu Jing Wu and Chinese citizen Wai Kin Benny Lam, have been accused of orchestrating a financial scheme aimed at fraudulently raising and diverting funds from foreigners looking to obtain U.S. green cards. The case was initially brought to a Florida state court in Miami-Dade County by Chun Liu, a Chinese citizen living in Portland, Oregon, who filed a class action lawsuit in March.
Liu’s allegations are serious: he claims that he and others invested $500,000 towards a project known as the Triton Center Project, only to find that the funds were misappropriated. Wu and Lam are accused of transferring tens of millions of dollars to their accounts and offshore entities, using these diverted funds to acquire properties unrelated to the project.
Fu Jing Wu sought to move the case to arbitration based on the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. However, U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams ruled that Wu failed to meet a crucial prerequisite for arbitration – a signed written agreement that includes an arbitration clause.
This decision underscores the complexities of the EB-5 visa program and the legal challenges it can entail. For potential investors, this case highlights the need for due diligence and the importance of seeking legal advice when considering such substantial investments in the United States.
As an experienced immigration attorney and former immigration officer, I recognize the gravity of such allegations and the impact they can have on the integrity of the EB-5 visa program. This case serves as a reminder of the potential pitfalls in navigating U.S. immigration and investment laws.
In conclusion, the unfolding of the EB-5 visa fraud case in Florida state court is a significant event in the realm of U.S. immigration law. It emphasizes the need for vigilance and informed decision-making for foreign investors seeking to utilize the EB-5 visa pathway.
Varona, R. A. (2024, January 9). EB-5 Visa Fraud Suit To Stay In Florida State Court. Law360.
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