EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Continues to Produce Negative News

By David North on September 13, 2021

The immigrant investor (EB-5) program, the main part of which was allowed to lapse by Congress on June 30, continues to produce negative headlines for itself, if you know where to look.

For instance, there is this from the sprightly alternative Vermont website VTDigger on September 9: “Court Records point to state cover-up in EB-5 fraud at Burke Mountain Resort”.

Anne Galloway, the editor, reporting on yet another lawsuit in the years-long series of EB-5 scandals in that state, said this about the then-Governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin (D):

On New Year’s Day in 2015 Shumlin and Quiros [Ariel Quiros, the main conspirator in the program, now facing years in a federal prison] met privately at the governor’s East Montpelier home, according to information from FBI records that had not previously been disclosed.

. . . 

 According to the [court] filing, Shumlin and state officials knew from an internal investigation in March 2015 — a year before federal regulators stepped in — that Quiros had stolen tens of millions of dollars from investors.

Another news outfit, Law360, reported last month: “Jay Peak Receiver Slams Quiros’ Appeal of $32.5M Settlement”.

The same Quiros apparently sought to modify an earlier financial settlement. Law360 wrote:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had also expressed outrage over Quiros’ objections to the settlement, calling them “factually inaccurate, legally groundless, and equitably repugnant.

Nice choice of words.

The “receiver” in the headline is the court-appointed Michael Goldberg, a Floridian who has played a major role in cleaning up the mess in Vermont.

An Opportunity to Speak Out Against EB-5. There will be a chance for people interested in keeping or killing the EB-5 program to submit questions about it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the DHS bureau that manages EB-5 (although there is no guarantee that USCIS will provide answers). These kinds of opportunities are routinely dominated by people who make money out of the program, or hope to do so, and it would balance the feedback if readers asked some penetrating questions, such as:

  • Why has no one gone to prison for the numerous violations of the law in connection with multiple thefts in the EB-5 program in South Dakota years ago? One can use this blog post of mine as background.
  • Industry sources say that there was a “frenzy” of EB-5 filings between a court decision in California on June 20 and the death of the program on June 30. This sounds unlikely. How many I-526 applications were received by USCIS in those 10 days?

You may email non-case-specific questions to [email protected] by no later than September 23 at 4 p.m. Eastern. Here is an image of the email from USCIS soliciting questions: