Thursday, February 20, 2014

Senate panel seeking information about regional center projects

Sen. Tom A. Coburn (R-OK), ranking member on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, has sent letters to approved regional centers asking for a lot of information that goes far beyond the scope of the annual audit (Form I-924A).
For example, the letter seeks information about any fees charged to EB-5 investor visa applicants and received by the regional center, including amount and description, a list of any current and former corporate officers of the regional center, including title, position and dates of employment, and the name and address of any individual or entity -- either foreign or domestic -- that the regional center has an agreement with to provide legal, accounting, recruiting or consulting services, as well as a description of the service provided.
I'm not sure why Sen. Coburn wants all of this information or what he and his committee would do if or when they got it.  Most members of Congress see the EB-5 Program as a benefit for their constituents in states that have regional centers.  True, there have been some problems.  EB-5 attracts crooks and scam artists -- and EB-5 lawyer and consultant wannabes -- because there is a lot of money involved.  But EB-5 is no more full of fraud and abuse than any other visa program run by USCIS.
In fact, a lot of projects -- some completed, some ongoing -- are creating thousands of jobs in the United States for hard-working Americans.  When I find out what's going on, I'll let you know.