Investors in the EB-5 program whose immigration status is in limbo due to allegations of fraud may get some relief.
Proposed changes to a federal foreign investor program working their way through Congress do not go as far as Michael Goldberg, the man appointed by a federal court to protect the interests of investors in the Jay Peak projects, had initially been seeking.
Goldberg had originally hoped for a provision that would have held harmless defrauded investors. Instead, a proposed amendment would give defrauded investors some flexibility in meeting federal requirements.
That change may be all that can be accomplished before the end of the month, when the EB-5 foreign investor program expires. Republicans in the House of Representatives are under pressure by developers to extend the law as is. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are pressing for financial reporting requirements that would better protect investors. The two senators say fraud is “rampant” in the program and measures must be taken to hold developers accountable.
The biggest alleged fraud case in the history of the EB-5 program was exposed in Leahy’s home state of Vermont last April.
State and federal lawsuits filed earlier accuse Miami businessman Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger, one-time CEO and president of Jay Peak, of misusing $200 million in EB-5 funds as part of six development projects at the resort and one in nearby downtown Newport.
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