Wondering what's new in China's immigration agent/broker market? Here's a story that may not bode well for one agency.
One of the EB-5 visa community's more prominent voices has just accused an agency that promotes EB-5 projects of serious misconduct, stating that if the group has, in fact, acted out of turn, the consequences could be quite serious.
According to Brian Su of the Artisan Business Group, the Can-Reach Pacific agency knowingly published an article on its Website containing inaccurate information. As originally published, the article had the following title: "AILA EB-5 Committee Chairman Ron Klasko Visits Can-Reach Pacific."
There's just one problem. Ron Klasko, a Pennsylvania immigration attorney and noted EB-5 expert, didn't really visit Can-Reach Pacific. In fact, he wasn't even in China during the month of September when the company claims he visited its offices.
The Great Ron Mix-Up
Here's a screenshot from Can-Reach Pacific's Website. Via the Web translator, you can see where Klasko's name appears in multiple photo captions. We have also received verification from two professional translators that the agency did publish this material with Klasko's name in the text:
But that's not even Ron Klasko in the photos. It's Ron Darling, a California attorney and principal at American Redevelopment Regional Center.
Here's a translation of what Can-Reach Pacific says happened at its office last month:
On Sept 20, 2011, AILA EB-5 Committee Chairman Ronald Klasko leads a group of regional center executives Joyce Yeung and Ronald E. Darling to visit Can-Reach Pacific [sic] office. AILA EB-5 Committee Chairman Ronald Klasko stated that Can-Reach Pacific is one of the earliest-established immigration companies in China. It is a great honor to visit Can-Reach Pacific and discusses [sic] EB-5 related issues and cooperation, and through joint efforts to bring the selected fine [sic] immigrant investment projects to Chinese investors. He also said, though [sic] mutual cooperation, Miracle [sic] will be created in the history of US EB-5 program! After the meeting, both parties had a pleasant photo opp.
So not only does Can-Reach Pacific mis-identify Ron Klasko as the attorney in the photos, but it also attributes a quotation to him ? errors that raised eyebrows among more than a few influential readers.
When John Li of EB5 Supermarket called Can-Reach for clarification and found nobody willing to comment, he says the agency turned off its phone so he couldn't call back. It then wasn't long before any reference to Ron Klasko was removed from the page in question.
Why use Klasko's name?
So what was Can-Reach's motivation for mis-identifying Ron Darling? In comments submitted to EB5info, Brian Su said the company was "using Mr. Klasko's reputation to boost their image."
According to Su, the agency's actions could "give plenty of reasons for Chinese authority to shut down the EB-5 program in China." And that's something nobody in the EB-5 community would like to see happen.
But could what Su calls "misdeeds and misconduct" really be an honest mistake? In an email to Ron Klasko just published on Su's blog, the Director of Can-Reach Pacific, Ltd. apologized and called the use of the EB-5 Committee Chairman's name "one mistake in our work."
Was it? At this point, there's no way to be sure.
It seems unlikely that this instance of alleged wrongdoing could damage the integrity of the EB-5 green card program to such an extent that the Chinese government would consider ending it. After all, the error has been corrected.
However, it's easy to be skeptical about Can-Reach's claim that it made a mistake. Could anyone really have forgotten which attorney visited the office? That he was from the American Redevelopment Regional Center and not a representative of AILA or that organization's EB-5 Committee?
Brian Su has informed the Beijing Exit and Entry Services Association (BEESA) about the episode. Can-Reach Pacific is a BEESA member.