The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of a husband and wife in Arcadia, California, who allegedly defrauded investors in two EB-5 investment offerings.
According to the SEC's complaint unsealed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Edward Chen (a/k/a Jianqiao Chen, Jian Qiao Chen, and Jian Chen) and Jean Chen (a/k/a Jing Jiang and Jean Jiang) control several companies that raised more than $22.5 million from 45 investors in China for the development of an interior design center in Ontario, California, and a residential condominium building in Los Angeles. The offerings utilized the federal EB-5 program that provides a method for foreign investors to obtain visas by investing in projects that create or preserve at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.
But the SEC alleges that the Chens stole more than $12 million out of investor funds by issuing cashier's checks to Jean Chen, transferring the money to affiliated entities, and purchasing residential real estate completely unrelated to the two EB-5 projects.
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