If you read the papers, you know that EB-5 visa cases are in the news. White House senior advisor Jared Kushner’s sister recently drew attention for offering investor visas in China for $500,000.
Many are convinced this is very wrong, and the federal government has stepped up prosecution of this and other forms of immigration fraud. Whenever this happens, inevitably people are falsely accused. Then it is time for an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help defend against charges involving EB-5 visas.
Was the law even broken?
First of all, Jared Kushner’s sister was not breaking any laws. The United States’ EB-5 visa program explicitly promises permanent residency to foreign investors who create jobs in the United States. The formula is that they invest $1 million, which goes to create 10 jobs. There is also a $500,000 investment version, targeting jobs in non-urban, less affluent areas.
The EB-5 program has been in place a long time, but it gathered speed during the financial meltdown of 2008. The program was successful – foreign investment at that time created loan capital and jobs in a time of great uncertainty.
Many investment managers are now being called on the carpet for cheating foreign investors or diverting and misusing the investment money. At times, the wrong people are being prosecuted with crimes, or they are being charged with crimes carrying the harshest possible penalties.
The rush to indict individuals involved in the EB-5 program is reminiscent of the surge in Medicare fraud cases. The federal government knows these visa programs have come under public scrutiny and are no longer popular politically. A collateral consequence of this surge in prosecuting EB-5 visa fraud schemes would be innocent or tangentially involved parties being charged and imprisoned.
Do not be swept up in this rush to name culprits. A good white collar defense lawyer knows every defense strategy, and can deploy the tactics necessary for the least amount of legal harm.