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EB-5 and Kushner: the investigation closes in? Even if not, consider dubious job creation

File this under the category of maybe.

The Wall Street Journal's Erica Orden reported 1/6/18, SEC Looks Into Kushner Cos. Over Use of EB-5 Program for Immigrant Investors:
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the real-estate company run by the family of President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner for its use of a federal investment-for-visa program known as EB-5, according to people familiar with the matter.
In May 2017, Kushner Cos. received a subpoena from the SEC requesting information about its use of the program, one of these people said. As The Wall Street Journal reported last year , that month the company received a separate subpoena from New York federal prosecutors asking for information about development projects financed in part by the EB-5 program.
Other than that, we don't know anything. The feds won't comment. (Do we think they'd go after such a powerful figure, that close to the president?)

Kushner Cos. spokesfolk say everything's kosher in the world of EB-5, wherein immigrant investors get green cards for themselves and their families in exchange for a purportedly job-creating $500,000 loan (at low interest).

What we do know: EB-5 marketing routinely pushes the boundary of credulity, maybe legality. And what's legal may not respect the intent of the law, such as in the routine gerrymandering of high-unemployment districts to create an irregular "Targeted Employment Area," thus qualifying an EB-5 project for that $500,000 threshold, rather than the regular $1 million requirement.

See my coverage in City & State of the Kushners and EB-5 and also of the gerrymandered map. And see my coverage of the dubious marketing of Atlantic Yards EB-5 projects.

No actual jobs

And here's the kicker: even if they're not violating marketing strictures, they're not creating jobs. As I wrote for City & State:
The press coverage of One Journal Square has understandably focused on the Kushners, but let's not ignore the role of Nicholas Mastroianni II, who heads the U.S. Immigration Fund, perhaps the country's busiest regional center...
However, Mastroianni devastatingly undermined the justification for his projects – including, presumably, One Journal Square – at a little-noticed panel in Shanghai last November for EB-5 insiders.
"Projects that don't typically need the capital are the projects that we look to lend money on," he said, on video. "If a project can't be developed without the EB-5 capital, it's not a project that you should be looking to invest in, because you've got a desperate situation."
But if One Journal Square doesn't need that EB-5 capital, the immigrant investor funds don't create jobs at all.

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