SEC Says Immigration Program Offering Path to U.S. Citizenship Used to Defraud 250 Investors

SEC Says Immigration Program Offering Path to U.S. Citizenship Used to Defraud 250 Investors

A path to U.S. citizenship premised on an immigration program crafted to help create jobs, and surrounded with misrepresentations and false documents was the lure used by Anshoo Seithi and his controlled entities to defraud 250 investors of millions of dollars, according to an SEC complaint. The Commission obtained a temporary asset freeze over $145 million in investor funds and a retraining order at the time of filing its complaint against Mr. Seithi, A Chicago Convention Center, LLC and Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago, LLC, both recently formed entities. SEC v. A Chicago Convention Center, LLC, Case No. 13cv982 (N.D. Ill. Filed Feb. 6, 2013).

The EB-5 Program was created as part of the 1990 Immigration and Nationality Act. It promised foreign nationals who invested $1 million creating or preserving at least 10 U.S. workers jobs in this country the opportunity to obtain a green card. Alternatively, $500,000 could be invested in a high unemployment or rural area. The program is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service or USCIS.

Mr. Seithi used this program to solicit investors to purchase notes in A Chicago Convention Center, claiming it would build and operate what he called the World's First Zero Carbon Emission Platinum LEED certified" hotel and conference center in the Chicago area.

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