One of the key men behind Idaho’s controversial overture to Chinese investors in 2007 agreed to pay back $5 million in investors’ funds that the Securities and Exchange Commission said he misappropriated.
Boise miner and real estate developer Sima Muroff raised more than $140 million to create U.S. jobs through an immigrant-investor program that offered the possibility of residency in exchange for U.S. investment.
But in a settlement the SEC filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boise, Muroff agreed to repay $5 million plus $800,000 in interest and a $2 million penalty. He neither admitted or denied the allegations in the complaint.
Beginning in 2010, when Muroff accompanied Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on a trade mission to China, he raised millions from Chinese investors to develop real estate in McCall and mines in Idaho and Montana. The more than 200 Chinese investors were to get green cards for making the investment under the federal EB-5 program. The EB stands for “employment-based.”
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