Use of EB-5 as part of the capital stack for an EB-5 project is a highly complicated prospect. Identifying the right Regional Center or forming a Regional Center and structuring the project so that it is compliant with the myriad of USCIS/DHS rules is a daunting endeavor.
The other very real concern for these projects is how to actually find the investors and fill the EB-5 raise. Most of the EB-5 investors come from China, but other countries are beginning to also see their citizens apply for the U.S. EB-5 program.
How does a project successfully source EB-5 investors? This is something that really needs to be considered before diving into the EB-5 world and has been the topic of numerous articles and blogs (visit Greenberg Traurig’s EB-5 insights blog). Businesses need to beware of resorting to “finders” to help locate investors. Except in very limited circumstances, paying a commission or “success fee” to a finder that is not registered as a broker-dealer violates federal and state securities laws. A company that hires a finder, as well as the company’s directors, officers, and owners, can be liable to investors and sanctioned by regulators for such violations.
This article focuses on the potential pitfalls in sourcing investors from immigration and other attorneys or consultants that are not properly registered.