BEIJING, 22 May 2017: Four Chinese filed an USD50-million lawsuit against a visa fraud scheme in a Los Angeles Court on Friday.
According to the lawsuit the scheme cheated more than 100 Chinese citizens, that prompted a federal investigation followed by lawsuit by the alleged victims.
Federal authorities raided a business called California Investment Immigration Fund located in San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles last April.
The business earned more than USD50 million dollars in total from 100 Chinese investors and claimed to help them obtain permanent US residency through an EB-5 programme. It allows a foreigner, who invests at least USD500,000 in a business that creates American jobs, to apply for US residency.
Four of the victims claimed that they signed the contract in 2011. However, the projects were not even built and they never got their green cards as promised.
“Most of the investors heard about these EB-5 projects through agencies in China. But most of them did not really know about details of the projects, aside from pretty-looking presentations,” attorney Jing Wang said.
“As far as I know from my clients, they did not even know who was their project attorney, nor what legal files they would have signed.”
Wang also said that most of the investors did not understand the legal process of EB-5 and misunderstood many issues. They trusted their agency too much and did not seek more information.
Faced with the expiration of their temporary status in November, each of the four victims asked for a full refund of their investment along with other compensations, worth up to USD2 million dollars.