Friday, December 02, 2011

Fraud? Immigrant investors in Atlantic Yards were told their green cards were guaranteed, but New York City Regional Center typically warns investors it makes no warranties

There's a huge gap between what the assurances the New York City Regional Center (NYCRC) gave to potential Chinese investors in Atlantic Yards about the certainty of their expected green cards and the "no warranty" message the firm typically tells investors.

The warning

The following passage appears in the confidential offering memoranda for two previous NYCRC projects, regarding the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Steiner Studios:

In other words, the company offers no warranty and no assurances that the investors, who parked $500,000 for five years and eschewed interest (mostly) in lieu of green cards for themselves and their families, would actually get the green cards.

Presumably, such boilerplate also appeared in the memorandum for the Brooklyn Arena and Infrastructure Project, which sought (and apparently achieved) $249 million from 498 investors, mostly from China.

In China, green cards guaranteed

As I reported last year, in webcast presentations, representatives of the NYCRC offered public assurances that green cards were guaranteed.

"The first major advantage is that the approval process, from USCIS, having already been accomplished, takes all of the immigration risk out of the process for the EB-5 investor," NYCRC representative Gregg D. Hayden claimed in a webcast (below) at 1:00. "So [the Chinese consultancy] Qiao Wai's clients, for example, all they need to focus on is their own personal source of funds."



Last year Reuters reported that an agent for the Kookmin Migration Consulting Co., working on behalf of the NYCRC in Korea, "told would-be investors if they invested in the company's latest project their permanent green cards were 'guaranteed' and implied investors would be financing a new arena.

George Olsen, NYCRC managing principal, acknowledged to Reuters that the claims were "not accurate," but blamed his affiliate.

Actually, as shown in the video, the NYCRC's own man in China made the same claims, as I pointed out.

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