Nearly all U.S. broker-dealers are members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA regulates, and provides oversight and guidance for its member firms. When a broker-dealer becomes a FINRA…
Continue Reading Not Every Broker-Dealer is an EB-5 Broker-Dealer
Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a series of enforcement actions against lawyers across the country, charging them with offering EB-5 investments and receiving compensation while…
Continue Reading SEC Charges Attorneys Across the Country for Acting as Unlicensed Securities Brokers
Yesterday, the SEC filed a civil action and a motion for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) against a well-known Seattle EB-5 developer. The SEC alleges, inter alia, that a developer…
Continue Reading SEC Files a Complaint and TRO against Seattle Developer Alleging Misuse of EB-5 Funds
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.Continue Reading Who Can Source Investors For EB-5 Projects: The World of Finders, Consultants, Attorneys, and Broker Dealers
Yesterday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered a US-based foreign finder operation to cease and desist from operation as an unlicensed broker-dealer. The charges are some of the…
Continue Reading SEC Charges two Businesses for Acting as Unlicensed Broker-Dealers in EB-5 sales
After a nationwide conference call of industry participants sponsored by agencies of the U.S. government and several years of cautionary discussions, through its recent actions, the agency that regulates securities sales in the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and its self-regulatory arm, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), have made compliance with securities laws for those in the EB-5 industry a priority.
According to reports, the SEC may bring actions against as many as 20 individuals who were accepting finders’ fees without being registered as broker-dealers or associated persons of broker-dealers. In addition, FINRA indicated in its recent announcement of examination priorities that it is focused on its members’ due diligence and suitability checks in the sale of private placements, including EB-5 securities.
Continue Reading U.S. Securities Regulators Take Notice of EB-5