Sunday, October 23, 2016

VTDigger sues state over EB-5 records

VTDigger is suing the state of Vermont in order to obtain records associated with oversight of the state’s EB-5 immigrant investment program. See report at

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Last Chance to Register for Chinese PE and EB-5 Finance Forum

Chinese Private Equity and EB-5 Investment Forum is taking place on October 26, 2016 in New York City area.  The much-anticipated private equity and EB-5 investment conference will bring together the most senior-level executives and professionals from the industry's most active market participants for a day of high level discussion, peer to peer exchanges and one on one networking sessions.  The event will have limited seats for senior-level executives from both the US and China and will feature honest and in-depth dialogues with the leading experts on how to effectively attract private equity and EB-5 investments from China.  In addition, the Forum offers unique networking sessions that will enable participants to establish useful and productive contacts and generate fresh deal flow or potential investment opportunities as well as possible funding leads from equity partners in China. 

Sign up here to join us in NYC at the Chinese Real Estate Private Equity and EB-5 Investment Forum!

Speakers & Agenda:

9:00- 9:15 am
Introduction and Welcome

Brian Su, Artisan Business Group

9:15- 10:30 am
Chinese PE: Partnering PE & EB-5 Financing from Asia

Scott Fuller, Capital United

Brian Su, Artisan Business Group

Bruce Rosetto, Greenberg Traurig

Hong Yu, Independent Consultant

Reid Thomas, NES Financial

11:00- 12:00 pm EB-5 Update-How Will the New Legislation 
impact the Chinese Investor?

Joseph Barnett, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal

Matthew Beatus, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal

12:00- 1:15 pm
Luncheon & Networking

1:15- 2:00 pm
Hot Topics on EB-5 Immigration and Securities

Ali Brodie, Fox Rothschild

Roy Carrasquillo, Fox Rothschild

2:15- 3:00 pm
Top RFEs in EB-5 Econometrics

Jeff Carr, Economic & Policy Resources

3:15- 4:15 pm
Minimizing Investment Risks for Overseas Investors

Michael Gibson, US Advisors

Trump's Name Invoked in Effort to Draw Chinese Investors

(Source: The New York Times) The investment pitch for a new Texas hotel uses Donald Trump’s name and has professional-sounding bona fides. Focusing on the well-heeled Chinese, the deal promotes the “excellent location” of the $130 million Austin Mirabeau Trump Hotel and “the world’s leading developer,” the Trump Organization. The project offers another enticement: a path to a green card in the United States. Chinese investors who put at least $500,000 into the hotel could get a visa as part of a government program intended to tap overseas money and create jobs in economically troubled American neighborhoods. 

On its surface, the pitch, detailed in a 16-page document distributed to Chinese investors in recent weeks, appears to be another example of Mr. Trump’s conflicting views on China and trade. Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has accused the country of stealing American jobs even though he has used its manufacturers for his line of clothing.
But a closer look exposes the potential troubles with the controversial American visa initiative, called the EB-5 program, which has been marred by cases of fraud and doubts that it produces the desired economic results. The Austin project hasn’t been officially greenlighted, and there is little sign that either Mr. Trump or his organization is deeply involved.

The company named as the Trump Organization’s partner has zero value, according to the personal bankruptcy filing of its chief executive. And property records show a project with a different name, Waterloo Park Tower, is in the works for the site in Austin, which at the moment is home to a brick-oven pizzeria. A Trump-linked project has tapped EB-5 money from China in the past, according to a Bloomberg article published in March that looked at a tower in Jersey City, N.J. While a spokeswoman for Trump Hotels didn’t outright deny any Trump involvement in the Austin project, she played down the organization’s connection. “Our growth strategy is to expand the Trump Hotels portfolio by strategically developing and opening properties in both key U.S. and international locations,” said the spokeswoman, Jennifer Rodstrom. “While we do not have a definite project in Austin at this time, we remain interested in key U.S. cities and will continue to explore such opportunities accordingly.” Read complete article here:

Join us in NYC on October 26 at the Chinese Real Estate Private Equity and EB-5 Finance Forum to discuss updates on foreign Chinese investment into US Real estate projects.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Most EB-5 funds go to gerrymandered districts: fed gov’t study

(Source: The Real Deal) The overwhelming majority of EB-5 funding goes into gerrymandered districts where affluent neighborhoods are combined with high-unemployment areas that qualify for the program, a new study shows. The study, released Wednesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, is the first attempt by the federal government to quantify claims of abuse critics have lobbed at the visas-for-dollars program, which is set to expire in December as lawmakers debate its future.

Conducted over a three-month period last year, the study found that 90 percent of EB-5 funds went to gerrymandered districts made up of two census tracts stitched together, and in some cases more than 100, the Wall Street Journal reported. EB-5, a low-cost source of financing for developers, allows projects to stitch together areas of low unemployment with affluent neighborhoods, one of the main points of criticism in the debate. The program allows investors to get a green card in exchange for investing at least $500,000 in U.S. businesses that create jobs. Looking at 200 investor applications received between July and September 2015, the study found that 36 percent of applications were for projects in census tracts with an unemployment rate of 4 percent or lower.

EB-5 requires projects to be in an area with unemployment at 150 percent of the national unemployment rate, which would have been at least 7.6 percent at the time of the study, which found that just 12 percent of applications were for projects in areas with unemployment of at least 8 percent. With 14,000 investor applications to look at, the report is only a small snapshot of the program and has a high margin of error, the Journal reported. The program is set to expire in December, and lawmakers have agreed to proposed changes of the unemployment issue. The program may have already lapsed due to a technical oversight by lawmakers, as The Real Deal previously reported. [WSJ] – Rich Bockmann

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Artisan attends Yingke Global Partners Conference in Beijing

Brian Su and Artisan Business team recently attended the Yingke Global Partners Conference in Beijing. Yingke is the largest law firm in Asia Pacific and has over 31 international offices outside of mainland China. Brian Su is managing partner of Yingke Chicago China Center.

For updates on Overseas Investment Trends, join us in NYC on October 26.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oct. 26 NYC PE & EB-5 Agenda Announced!

8:30- 9:00 am Check in and Registration

9:00- 9:15 am Introduction and Welcome

Brian Su, Artisan Business Group

9:15- 10:30 am Chinese Private Equity: Partnering Private Equity and EB-5 Financing from Asia

Scott Fuller, Capital United

Brian Su, Artisan Business Group

Bruce Rosetto, Greenberg Traurig

Hong Yu, Independent Consultant

11:00- 12:00 pm EB-5 Update-How Will the New Legislation impact the Chinese Investor?

Joseph Barnett, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal

Matthew Beatus, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal

12:00- 1:15 pm Luncheon & Networking

1:15- 2:00 pm Hot Topics on EB-5 Immigration and Securities

Ali Brodie, Fox Rothschild

Roy Carrasquillo, Fox Rothschild

2:15- 3:00 pm Top RFEs in EB-5 Econometrics

Jeff Carr, Economic & Policy Resources

3:15- 4:15 pm Minimizing Investment Risks for Overseas Investors

Michael Gibson, US Advisors

Join us at the Chinese Real Estate Private Equity and EB-5 Investment Forum nearby Newark Airport on October 26.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Artisan team visits emigration consultants in Guangzhou

Brian Su, CEO of Artisan Business Group is leading the Artisan team throughout China meeting with emigration professionals. The team met with consultants in Guangzhou to discuss trends and updates in EB-5 marketing.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Homeland Security deputy and EB-5 ally to Leahy quitting post

(Source: Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — who has been a key ally to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy on the EB-5 immigrant investor program — announced Thursday that he will be stepping down from his post early in order to work at WilmerHale, an international law firm that has donated thousands to Leahy. See report at

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Did lawmakers flub the temporary renewal of EB-5?

(Source: The Real Deal) Congress thought it extended the EB-5 visa program at the end of September — but did it? A letter from the Congressional Research Service, which serves as a research arm for Congress, questions whether the EB-5 Regional Center Program, which earmarks green cards for investors in development projects, was lawfully extended. The continuing resolution, issued Sept. 30, was slated to keep the program up and running until Dec. 9, and lawmakers could hash out terms for a potential long-term authorization during that period. But in the letter, dated Oct.3 and reviewed by The Real Deal, CRS cites a legal technicality which may mean the program is no longer legally funded. The program, it says, was subject to certain “sunset provisions” that see it expire unless explicit legislative action was taken to extend it. Since no legislation was technically passed to extend the program, it may have lapsed. That means the Regional Center Program, which helps developers raise billions of dollars for real estate projects, may no longer be active.

The letter was sent in response to a request from legislators, who were unclear on the status of the program. If that is, in fact, the case, the government could have opened itself up to litigation from thousands of investors who wouldn’t get the green cards they were promised, sources said. “If it has expired, it means they can no longer process regional center investors filings,” said one EB-5 expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “There would be no more issuing of green cards. The ramifications would be huge.” Representatives for both the Senate Judiciary Committee and CRS did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A botched renewal would just be the latest in a long line of controversies related to the program, which many have argued is rife with fraud and abuse. Detractors claim it favors projects in wealthy parts of the country and can be used to bring dirty money into the U.S., while proponents say it promotes development and creates jobs. Real estate developers, who’ve tapped the program for cheap capital, have actively lobbied to keep it alive.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Speakers announced for Chinese Real Estate Private Equity and EB-5 Forum

Artisan Business Group is hosting a Chinese real estate private equity and EB-5 investment event on October 26 nearby Newark Airport.  The one day event will feature key experts to discuss the following main topics: 
  • Driving Force behind Private Equity Investments from China; 
  • Hottest US Real Estate Markets for Chinese Investors; 
  • Partnering PE and EB-5 Financing and Common Challenges
  • EB-5 Legislative Updates and USCIS Adjudications
  • Attracting Investors in the Crowded EB-5 Marketplace
Speakers for the event include:
  • Bruce Rosetto, Greenberg Traurig
  • Bernard Wolfsdorf, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal
  • Jeff Carr, Economic & Policy Resources
  • Joseph Barnett, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal
  • Michael Gibson, US Advisors
  • Scott Fuller, CapUnited
  • Hong Yu, Independent Consultant
  • Brian Su, Artisan Business Group 
  • More to be announced soon.

For more information on EB-5 and Chinese private equity financing, join us in NYC on October 26 at the Chinese Real Estate Private Equity and EB-5 Forum.

Monday, October 3, 2016

An Immigrant-Funded Biotech Center in Rural Vermont? What Could Go Wrong?

(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek) Foreign investors were promised green cards if they put $500,000 into Vermont’s poorest region. Now they’re wondering where the money went. Read the story at

EB-5 Program likely to be extended in December

Congress extended the EB-5 Regional Center Program last week to December 9th. The two month extension will give Congress more time to negotiate new EB-5 legislation and long term extension. The EB-5 Regional Center Program has changed drastically over the past two years when Congress first started to consider changing current EB-5 legislation. The industry is consistently growing and it is in the best interest of each Senator's and Congressman's district to extend EB-5 Program long term. We expect there to be more negotiations during the next two months and for the EB-5 Regional Center Program to be extended before December 9th deadline. 

To learn more about EB-5 immigrant investors program, please contact us at

Sunday, October 2, 2016

EB-5 program extended with no reforms to December

(Source: The Real Deal) Congress extended the EB-5 visa program on Wednesday night, allowing the program to run until December.  The program, which grants foreign investors green cards after they invest at least $500,000 in job-producing ventures, was set to expire on Friday at midnight. But industry experts told The Real Deal that the vote is no surprise, especially during an election year. Read the report at

New EB-5 regional centers

New regional centers have been approved by USCIS:

  • American Southern Regional Center, LLC (GA)
  • California Bohong Premier Regional Center, LLC (CA)
  • KCI Capital Limited (CO)
  • TLQ Partnership, LLC (CA)
  • TriHaven Investment Group LLC (CA)
To learn more about investments from China, please contact us today at

Little good has come from the EB-5 visa program

(Source: The Denver Post) Only 19 percent of Americans trust the federal government to do what’s right most of the time, according to the Pew Research Center. And it’s hard to blame them, given that our Congress has just extended a 25-year-old visas-for-investment immigration scheme that has accomplished essentially nothing except to foster corruption, risk national security — and subsidize real estate developers.  See the article by Charles Lane, a Washington Post editorial writer.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Congress puts EB-5 reforms on hold

( Congress has extended EB-5 immigrant investor legislation for at least a couple of months, shelving a proposal aimed at reforming the program at the center of the biggest alleged fraud case in Vermont’s history. The status quo keeps investors in defrauded projects in limbo as they seek permanent U.S. residency through the program. See report at

Friday, September 30, 2016

EB-5 regional center slaps Dermot with lawsuit over Battery Maritime loans

(Source: The Real Deal) A major New York City EB-5 regional center has filed suit against entities affiliated with Dermot Company for allegedly failing to pay interest on $77 million in loans granted for its planned redevelopment of the Battery Maritime Building downtown. Read full report at

U.S. Attorney Indicts Florida Gateway Regional Center Operator for Mail and Wire Fraud

Karamchand Raj Doobay, CEO of Florida Gateway Regional Center LLC was charged for mail and wire fraud by the US Attorney in Jacksonville Florida, and for the "use of a portion of the funds received from foreign investors invested through the EB-5 Program for his own personal use and enjoyment." The project refers to the regional center's Senior Premier Living project in Jasper Florida.

You can download and review the indictment case 3:16-cr-00122-TJC-MCR (PDF) and see more news report at

Thursday, September 29, 2016

'This is just the start': China's passion for foreign property

"China is so big,” marvels Victor Li, using his fingers to count all the cities he has flown to over the last 12 months to meet with cash-rich Chinese buyers interested in buying into a real-life game of London Monopoly. Li, a director of international project marketing for the US real estate giant CBRE, is predicting a surge of eastern investment in British homes over the next decade, as increasingly affluent Chinese investors acquire a taste for international property.

“I think it is just beginning,” says Li, of the amount of money pouring into property around the world from mainland China. “You do the figures: China has a population of 1.4 billion. If you target only 1% of China’s population, that’s 14 million people – so it’s already almost two Londons.” Sitting in his office overlooking Hong Kong’s skyscraper-dotted Victoria Harbour, Li estimates that just 3% of potential Chinese investors in overseas property have so far been found – meaning a virtually untapped goldmine lies over the border in mainland China. “China is a big market, you know?” he says. “They are getting wealthier and wealthier.”

Read complete story on The Guardian. 

House passes Continuing Resloution bill to extend EB-5 Program

With a House vote last night, House passed a continuing resolution that will fund federal agencies until Dec. 9; and the the resolution includes the extension of current EB-5 regional center program.

The House voted 342-85 to pass a “clean” funding bill that will keep the federal government funded at current levels. The bill now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law.

To learn more about EB-5 program, log on

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Senate passes Continuing Resloution bill to extend EB-5 Program

The Senate has cleared the way for passage of Continuing Resolution by a vote of 77-21 on Wednesday. The bill will allow the federal government to be funded until Dec. 9th. The EB-5 Program is involved in the Continuing Resolution with no changes made to the program. The bill will now head to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass before deadline of September 30th.

To learn more about EB-5 program, log on