A development group with plans for a $500 million senior housing pipeline now is embroiled in a lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is alleging that the developer misused tens of millions of dollars raised through the EB-5 program.
Between 2009 and 2016, defendant Taher Kameli raised about $88.7 million from at least 226 immigrant investors, mostly Chinese and Iranian citizens, according to the legal complaint filed Thursday. Kameli allegedly told these investors that their capital would be used to fund a number of senior living projects in Illinois and Florida, producing a return for them and ultimately enabling them to obtain green cards. The EB-5 program is designed to enable foreign investors to gain green cards by helping fund projects in the United States.
However, Kameli and the development groups he created, including Bright Oaks Group, improperly commingled the funds and also used them for personal enrichment, the SEC is alleging.
Among other wrongdoing, Kameli generated more than $1 million in profits for his companies through land transactions related to the development projects and diverted $475,000 from two projects to a different one, in an effort to complete construction, the complaint states.
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