Couple charged in US with fraud in investor visa scheme
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A California couple raised US$27 million from at least 50 Chinese investors seeking US immigration visas but misused two-thirds of the money, instead of building a cancer treatment center they had proposed, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Thursday.
Charles C Liu and Xin "Lisa" Wang, both of Laguna Niguel, California, promoted the facility as a project that would help the Chinese investors obtain permanent US immigration visas through a federal program known as EB-5, the SEC said.
But Liu transferred US$11.8 million of the funds to three firms in China, including one in which he is chief executive and chairman, according to the SEC's civil complaint, unsealed in a Los Angeles federal court on Thursday.
Liu also diverted another US$7 million to personal accounts for him and Wang, the SEC said. No construction has started at the proposed facility site more than 18 months after the couple began taking investments, the SEC said.