The EB-5 Program and China's Fugitives

May 30, 2017

Partner Ron Cheng's latest column for describes the US’ “investor visa” program. The program, more formally known as the EB-5 program (“EB” meaning “employment based” immigration and “5” representing the level of preference), is designed to promote economic growth in relatively undeveloped parts of the country. “Some projects, however, have resulted in criminal fraud prosecutions in Southern California, Washington State, and Chicago, as a result of the defendant in question either failing to invest EB-5 funds in the underlying project or diverting funds from an existing project. A number of these cases involve defrauded investors from China,” Cheng writes. “With EB-5 as the vehicle, the difficulty of verifying the legitimate origin of the investment from overseas creates new challenges to detect the fraud.”

O’Melveny partner Cheng handles both anti-corruption and data security and privacy matters and is co-located in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.