United States Attorney’s Office prosecutors filed nine lawsuits Thursday seeking the seizure of real estate properties across Southern California allegedly purchased with millions in proceeds from what FBI investigators said was a fraudulent visa program based in San Gabriel.
No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the ongoing probe, but the lawsuits contend the two targets of the investigation “exploited” the EB-5 visa program, which offers legal permanent residence in the United States for foreign nationals who make job-creating investments of $500,000 or more in U.S. companies.
The asset forfeiture complaints allege that the California Investment Immigration Fund, owned and operated by attorney Victoria Chan and her father, Tat Chan, wooed Chinese investors to give a minimum of $500,000 intended to help build job-creating businesses in return for permanent U.S. residency through the EB-5 visa program.
However, once the Chans received the money, they either refunded it to the investors or stole it “to use for personal expenditures, including buying million-dollar homes,” according to the lawsuits.
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