Articles Posted in Foreign Investors

EB5 Asset Manager, LLC. – South Florida Private Placement Fraud Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. EB5 Asset Manager, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 0:15-CV-62323 (S.D. Fla., filed November 3, 2015)

Assets Frozen in Alleged Immigration Scam:

Affinity and Elder Financial Abuse and Exploitation Fraud, Misrepresentation and Theft – Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach, Florida Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

SEC Announces Cases Targeting International Pyramid Scheme Operators

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges against the operators of an international pyramid scheme that raised more than $129 million from investors worldwide, primarily in the U.S., China, and Taiwan. The case follows another against a separate pyramid scheme that lured investors in the U.S., China, and Korea with seminars, webinars, and YouTube videos.

Private Equity Fund and Private Equity Fund Management Mismanagement and Fruad – South Florida Federal and State Court Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

SEC Charges Manhattan-Based Private Equity Manager With Stealing $9 Million in Investor Funds:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a Manhattan-based private equity manager and his firm with stealing $9 million from investors in their private equity fund.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. CKB Holdings Ltd., et al., Civil Action No. 13-5584 (E.D.N.Y., filed October 9, 2013)

SEC Halts $20 Million Pyramid Scheme Targeting Asian-American Community

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges and asset freezes against the operators and promoters of a worldwide pyramid scheme targeting members of the Asian-American community. The perpetrators of the scheme falsely promised exponential, risk-free returns to investors in a venture that purportedly sold Internet-based children’s educational courses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission Halts a Texas-Based Scheme Targeting Foreign Investors Seeking U.S. Residency Through EB-5 Visa Program:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced fraud charges against a husband and wife in Texas for stealing funds from foreign investors under the guise of an investment opportunity to create U.S. jobs and a path to U.S. residency.

The SEC alleges that Marco and Bebe Ramirez and three companies they own have fraudulently raised at least $5 million from investors by falsely promising that their money would be invested as part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. Through the program, foreign investors can earn conditional visas and eventually green cards by making investments in U.S. economic development projects that will create or preserve a minimum number of jobs for U.S. workers. Instead of investing the money as promised, the Ramirezes routinely diverted investor funds to other undisclosed businesses and for their personal use. In at least one instance, they used new investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to an existing investor.

Investment Scams That Exploit The Immigrant Investor Program:

Recently, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) jointly issued an Investor Alert to warn individual investors about fraudulent investment scams that exploit the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5.”

The EB-5 program provides certain foreign investors who can demonstrate that their investments are creating jobs in this country, with a potential avenue to lawful permanent residency in the United States. Business owners apply to USCIS to be designated as “regional centers” for the EB-5 program. These regional centers offer investment opportunities in “new commercial enterprises” that may involve securities offerings. Through EB-5, a foreign investor who invests a certain amount of money that is placed at risk, and creates or preserves a minimum number of jobs in the United States, is eligible to apply for conditional lawful permanent residency. Toward the end of the two-year period of conditional residency, the foreign investor is eligible to apply to have the conditions on their lawful permanent residency removed, if he or she can establish that the job creation requirements have been met. Foreign investors who invest through EB-5, however, are not guaranteed a visa or to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. For more details, read the EB-5 Immigrant Investor section of USCIS’s website at

SEC Charges South Florida Woman Behind Ponzi Scheme Targeting Colombian-American Community

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a woman living in South Florida with defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme and affinity fraud that targeted the local Colombian-American community and involved purported investments in immigration bail bonds.

The SEC alleges that Jenny E. Coplan told investors that her company Immigration General Services operated through an investment broker that would invest the funds she raised in immigration bail bonds and turn a profit. Coplan promised interest payments ranging from 60 to 108 percent annually. She also assured investors that their money was safe because it was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). However, Coplan never placed investor funds with any investment broker, and their money was never FDIC insured. Instead, she paid supposed profits to earlier investors using funds from newer investors in classic Ponzi fashion, and she stole approximately $878,000 of investor money for her own personal use.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Chan Tze Ngon and Jiang Xiangyuan, Civil Action No. 13-cv-6828 (S.D.N.Y.)

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged the former CEO of an education services provider based in China with stealing tens of millions of dollars from investors in a U.S. public offering, and charged another executive with illegally dumping his stock in the company after he helped steal valuable company assets.

The SEC alleges that ChinaCast Education Corporation’s former CEO and chairman of the board Chan Tze Ngon illicitly transferred $41 million out of the $43.8 million raised from investors to a purported subsidiary in which he secretly held a controlling 50 percent ownership stake. From there, Chan transferred investor funds to another entity outside ChinaCast’s control. Chan also secretly pledged $30.4 million of ChinaCast’s cash deposits to secure the debts of entities unrelated to ChinaCast. None of the transactions were disclosed in the periodic and other reports signed by Chan and filed with the SEC.

SEC Charges Atlanta-Area Defendants with Securities Fraud

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an action in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia, charging Stephen L. Kirkland (Kirkland), a Marietta, Georgia resident, and his company The Kirkland Organization, Inc. (TKO), a Georgia corporation, with violations of the federal securities laws for making false and misleading statements to investors in the United States and in Great Britain. The Commission’s complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against the defendants.

The Commission’s complaint alleges that between late 2008 and late 2010, Kirkland and TKO repeatedly made false and misleading statements to investors and potential investors including but not limited to: (a) if they invested with the defendants through a managed account at Westover Energy Trading Partners, LLC (Westover), there would be no risk of losing their principal; (b) they would earn 2% to 3% per month; (c) a specified New York real estate developer/owner was a manager of Westover; and (d) the New York real estate developer/owner’s substantial wealth would be used to indemnify investors against loss. Investors in the United States and Great Britain have invested at least $800,000 with the defendants based upon those false representations.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. John G. Rizzo, Civil Action No. 13 CV 1801 MMA (BLM) (S.D. Cal. August 2, 2013)

SEC Charges Penny Stock CEO in International Boiler Room Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges against a penny stock company CEO in Boca Raton, Fla., for orchestrating an international boiler room scheme.

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