• 06 June 2019

Unlucky EB-5 Investors Take Lucky Dragon to Court

The EB-5 Investment Immigration Visa program provides perhaps the very best opportunity for wealthy foreign nationals to obtain a Green Card for themselves and their families.

EB-5 program

The program allows people with high net worth to make an economic investment in a USCIS-approved project. In return for offering a $500,000 low-interest investment and the promise to create 10 new jobs per investor within two years, the State Department will issue temporary Green Cards for the investors and their family (spouse and children under 18 years of age).

Once all necessary documents have been reviewed and approved, the temporary Green Card will be issued. It will take two or more years for immigrant investors to receive a permanent Green Card as its issuance is dependent on the job creation covenant. Three years later, permanent residents may apply for naturalization and become American citizens.

The issue is immigration. The means is an investment. The program is simple. However, wherever capital investments are pooled with others, as some EB-5 funding may be, there are sure to be some unscrupulous individuals who are willing to obtain large sums of capital through fraudulent means. When that happens, unfortunate investors could see their immigration dreams come crashing to the ground. Not to mention that their $500,000 has gone with the wind.

Lucky Dragon Casino project

This is the plight of the 79 Chinese investors in the failed Lucky Dragon Casino project in Las Vegas. While it is not yet clear what went on behind the scenes, the casino was in danger before it opened in December 2016. The foreign investors funded $89.5 million of the $165 million resort.

Forty of the investors have filed suit in U.S. District Court claiming that the defendants “may have used other controlled . . . or shell entities to divert/hide assets and/or secret business opportunities in an effort to avoid the pre-existing liability of the controlling party.” In other words, the developers were hiding their actual financial status and rolling the dice that the casino project could relieve their existing financial distress.

The problem is that their scheme put the foreign investors’ finances – and chances of becoming permanent residents – at much higher and unacceptable risk.

Another concern should have been noted when the casino was expected to employ 800 people. Although the number working at the December 2016 opening is not clear, 100 employees from multiple departments were discharged in March 2017, leaving a staff of 500. This should have been an indicator that the job creation requirement was in jeopardy of failing.

New details will eventually emerge, but they are not essential to the point that the ACS Law Offices would like to make.

We strongly advise foreign investors to engage directly with highly reputable, U.S.-based legal firms that specialize in Immigration Law. Foreign agencies are primarily concerned with marketing EB-5 projects to potential investors. They often know little more about projects than what is printed in their brochures.

The Immigration Attorneys at the ACS Law Offices are primarily concerned with protecting our EB-5 investor clients from potential fraud. Not only are we able to help you find suitable investment projects, but we are also here to help protect your investment and ensure that you receive permanent residency. We work with you closely every step of the way. And, every step of the way, you can be assured that we are working exclusively for you and your benefit.

The EB-5 Investment Visa Program is about “people helping other people” to accomplish their personal and business objectives by offering the resources that make achieving each other’s goals possible.

Immigration Attorneys at ACS Law Firm, and our entire staff are prepared to answer your questions about EB-5 Investment Immigration and how we can help make your immigration dream come true.