Monday, September 01, 2014

Despite Vermont's model EB-5 program, investors outraged by behind-the-scenes changes

The nonprofit news site Vermont Digger has done a good job investigating the EB-5 program in that state, one that has gotten lots of publicity and support from elected officials.

Until recently, the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center--the investment pool authorized to process $500,000 each from immigrant investors seeking green cards--was the only one run by a government agency rather than a private business, presumably adding accountability.

Well, according to Vermont Digger, it hasn't added enough accountability, since some immigrant investors "are incensed that Bill Stenger, president and CEO of Jay Peak Resort, seized ownership of the Tram Haus Lodge and turned their half-million dollar equity stakes in the property into IOUs"--a process they didn't learn about until five months later.

The role of the government regional center at least has added some transparency to the process, though the investors do not think it has been responsive enough.

And what about AY?

It makes me wonder what's been going on behind the scenes with the $228 million investment, via the New York City Regional Center, into Atlantic Yards, as well as the recently announced $249 million investment via the U.S. Immigration Fund, both involving mostly (if not exclusively) investors from China and both involving deceptive marketing, at the least.

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