As Congress thinks about extending the key portion of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, the U.S. attorney in Jacksonville, Fla., has indicted yet another regional center executive, Karamchand Doobay, for mail and wire fraud.
The regional center is the Florida Gateway Regional Center LLC, and one of its projects was a retirement community called Senior Premium Living LP. Doobay was charged with, among many other acts, the "use of a portion of the funds received from foreign investors invested through the EB-5 Program for his own personal use and enjoyment."
He was also charged, in a non-EB-5 portion of the 31-page indictment, with selling mobile home lots on a piece of land that was not zoned for this purpose, one of the older dodges in the Florida real estate business.
The indictment is case number 3:16-cr-00122-TJC-MCR in the PACER system of electronic court records, and the scam will soon adorn the Center for Immigration Studies' map of EB-5 fraud and folly. There was a little open area in the northern part of Florida for another entry.
Speaking of questionable regional centers, one of my well-informed informants has pointed out that on October 15, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission lowered the boom on another misbehaving center, the Velocity Regional Center in Pasadena, Calif., for running a $150 million Ponzi scheme. DHS, which licenses the regional centers, did not terminate Velocity until March 24 of this year, letting it run for another two and a half years.
Velocity is already on our map, along with a cluster of others near Los Angeles.