Atty Says EB-5 Investments Not Securities In SEC Suit
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A New York immigration attorney asked a California federal court for a quick win on Tuesday in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's case alleging he operated as an unregistered broker-dealer and defrauded EB-5 investors, saying the activity is out of the commission’s purview.
Attorney Hui Feng and his Law Offices of Feng & Associates PC filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that investments in EB-5 projects, an immigrant investor program administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, don’t qualify as securities, meaning Feng didn’t need to register with regulators as a broker. Lawyers have been helping clients utilize the program to obtain permanent resident status since its inception in 1990, and they’ve never had to register before, he said.
“For over 25 years, immigration attorneys in this country — and on the west coast in particular — have helped foreign applicants navigate the complex EB-5 program and secure permanent legal status in the United States,” the motion said. “As far as defendants are aware, none of those lawyers registered as brokers because there was no suggestion by anyone — not the SEC, the USCIS, any other government agency, or any court — that they were in fact acting as brokers.”