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Who makes the massive immigration fraud?

(People's Daily Online)

15:54, April 15, 2013

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosed that the Chicago Conference Center Project is suspected of a massive immigration fraud, involving up to 284 victims and 145 million U.S. dollars of investment fee. According to media reports, it is the biggest immigration fraud in the United States history.

Largest fraud in U.S. history

An American Anshoo R. Sethi lied to clients to buy shares of Chicago Conference Center Project for getting opportunity to immigrate to the United States quickly. Unexpectedly, the investors did not successfully immigrate to the United States after making investment and they even cannot take back their money.

Notably, in the fraud case, 250 victims out of more than 290 are from China.

Although some Chinese agencies have tried to solve the problem actively, investors still think it is quite difficult to safeguard their legal rights. "We get to know the scheme via intermediary companies, so they have great responsibility. We want to indict the intermediary companies, but lawyers said even if we sue the company, what we take back will be not much and it is just waste of time", according to a victim Ms. Wang.

Actually, it is not the first time that Chinese investors have become the victims of EB-5 visa program. Before this, 80 Chinese people had failed to immigrate to the United States after investing in an immigration mill.

Since the breakout of the financial crisis, large numbers of U.S. companies have made use of the EB-5 visa program to collect money, but the U.S. immigration agencies refused to issue green cards because some schemes couldn't provide enough employment opportunities. It is also said invested money even vanished in a bankrupted firm or a fraud.

Disorder in intermediary agencies

In fact, Sethi's fraud is not very clever, but it deceived hundreds of people and lured more than 100 million U.S. dollars. In addition to his disguise, intermediary agencies' recommendation also played a vital role.

Before the SEC sued the project, the websites of intermediary agencies in China post advertising slogans claiming "the project is a center for the implementation of Kyoto Protocol and government's investment in this project is more than 55 percent."

According to the previous figures, the number of 70,000 immigrants every year is the biggest cake the intermediary agencies can expect. The intermediary service fee ranging from 80,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan per person attracted large amount of capital and personnel.

Meanwhile, immigration intermediary agencies don't need too much capital because it can outsource its business or transfer clients to other companies. They can be affiliated to other qualified immigration intermediary companies, even though it is illegal, but under the high profit, many people still take risks, so it caused the disorder in intermediary agencies.

Read the Chinese version: 谁制造了1.45亿美元移民骗局
Source: People's Daily Overseas Editon, Author: Yang Ziyan and Zhang Guocheng

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