CHICAGO, February 11, 2013 – The Association to Invest In the USA (IIUSA), the national membership-based industry association of active EB-5 Regional Centers, supports the recent action of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to stop a Regional Center and developer in Chicago from making allegedly misleading claims to investors who sought U.S. permanent residence through their investment and resulting economic impact. (See SEC press release). IIUSA also applauds U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for its cooperation with SEC in the matter – to protect the integrity of the EB-5 Program.
“This is exactly how the system should work,” said K. David Andersson, President of IIUSA. “This initial enforcement step by the SEC shows project developers and Regional Centers that compliance with securities laws is not optional. Of course, investors should perform thorough due diligence in choosing investments, but this shows that our nation’s securities laws have real remedies to stop the few bad actors that can be found in any industry.”
“IIUSA regularly provides education to members on securities law compliance, and being forthright with investors is obviously at the top of the list of the best practices we promote in the area,” said Peter D. Joseph, Executive Director of IIUSA. “We welcomed a former SEC Chairman to discuss best practices in compliance at our most recent industry-wide conference. I expect to see increasing interest in our securities law compliance education seminars going forward.”
In 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing about the EB-5 regional center program. Senators had questioned whether additional legislation is needed to prevent fraud on EB-5 investors. Robert C. Divine, Vice President of IIUSA and an attorney at Baker Donelson law firm, testified that the temptation of securities issuers to mislead investors is not unique to the EB-5 program, and U.S. law already provides for criminal and civil penalties to prevent, stop and remedy securities fraud. “Now we see it in action,” said Divine. “Let the buyer of securities beware of crooks, but let the crooks beware of the law and its enforcers.”
IIUSA estimates that since 2005, the EB-5 Program has contributed over $4.7 billion of foreign direct investment (“FDI”) into the U.S. economy, creating over 95,000 American jobs and generating over a $1.0 billion in federal/state/local tax revenue. Trends indicate that 2013 will be record-breaking, accounting for over $2.0 billion in FDI, creating over 40,000 American jobs and hundreds of millions of tax revenue. IIUSA welcomes the inter-agency collaboration between the SEC and USCIS in order to allow the Program to continue its growing economic contribution to the U.S.
About The Association to Invest in the USA (IIUSA)
Founded in 2005, the Association to Invest In the USA (IIUSA) is the national membership-based 501(c)(6) not-for-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program (the “Program”). IIUSA’s primary mission is to make the Program a permanent and successful part of 21st century U.S. economic development policy. Federally-designated, active EB-5 Regional Centers – the public and/or private entities approved to serve as the conduits of foreign direct investment (“FDI”) and regional economic development in the Program – are IIUSA’s core members. As a reflection of the international and interdisciplinary makeup of the Regional Center industry, IIUSA also has Associate members from numerous professions and from around the world, including: attorneys, broker-dealers, consultants, developers, economists, financial advisors, migration intermediaries, etc. To date, IIUSA represents 78 Regional Center members and 159 Associate members, with our Regional Centers accounting for approximately 95% of all EB-5 capital formation and resulting economic impact.