Lightstone Solutions Announces EB-5 Investigative Due Diligence Unit
Lightstone Solutions, LLC (www.LightstoneSolutions.com) announced today that it has established an EB-5 Investigative Due Diligence Unit focused on providing Due Diligence Services to international investors seeking to invest in businesses in the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.
What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program provides a means for eligible Immigrant Investors to become permanent resident “green card” holders by investing at least $1M ($500K under certain circumstances) to finance a business in the U.S. that will employ at least 10 American workers.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was created by Congress in 1990 in order to “stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors,” according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The future of the EB-5 investment program has faced uncertainty due to issues that range from security concerns about vetting of the EB-5 investors to fraud committed against investors by unscrupulous promoters. President Trump’s recent budget deal with Congress includes extension of EB-5 through 12/8/17. The Administration has signaled that it will likely seek continuation of the program with Congressional reform.
Preventing EB-5 Investment Fraud
“In recent years the SEC has successfully brought enforcement actions against in excess of $1 Billion in EB-5 projects, a majority of them against unscrupulous individuals or companies that misuse investors’ funds,” said William S. Papazian, CEO. “With the recent extension of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and an industry expectation of more permanent EB-5 legislative reform, we have observed a strong – almost frenzied – push by some to recruit investors. Despite the legitimacy of many of these projects, this potentially opens the door to more unscrupulous promoters taking advantage of this situation,” added Mr. Papazian.
“Many investors come from China, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Hong Kong,” said Mr. Papazian. “The EB-5 Investigative Due Diligence Unit provides a means by which foreign investors can gauge the legitimacy of the individuals and companies they are considering investing in by delving into the backgrounds of the promoters and their projects in many areas including regulatory issues, criminal and civil histories, complaints and reputation. All too often investments are being made on blind faith of legitimacy. We don’t evaluate investment merits – we evaluate the merits of the people being invested with,” added Mr. Papazian.