Examples of EB-5 Project Failures

This is list of previous projects which have failed to remove conditions at the I-829 stage and, or have failed to return the capital to the EB-5 investor:

Mametk International, Missouri

Failure to do proper due diligence in an EB-5 visa Regional Center investment has resulted in deal failure which has already impacted U.S. job creation and investor confidence in the EB5 Visa Immigrant Investor program in the Mid-West.  Mamtek International, a company which produces “Sweet-O” sucralose, a zero-calorie sweetner, is in default to make their bond payments and will be unlikely to continue operations.  The $65 Million deal which was championed by State officials and foreign promoters and proposed to create over 600 jobs has fired its four employees, left the job site, shut down its website, and now refuses to meet with lenders or return phone calls.

The failure of the Mamtek manufacturing plant in Moberly, MO, which was being funded in part by EB-5 visa investors, should be a good example of why even high ranking state officials and U.S. attorneys should be careful in performing their own due diligence on projects being funded with EB-5 investor funds and promoted heavily in China.


El Monte Regional Center, California

The El Monte Regional Center in El Monte, California just got the boot from USCIS. In the agency's own words, the regional center was "no longer promoting job creation or the kind of local economic development for which it was initially certified to do." 

According to the Pasadena Star-News, the regional center, which was created to help fund a mixed-use development at the city's transit station, was subject to Victorville-style termination proceedings.Fraud, embezzlement, arrests, lawsuits
Questionable investment, overselling the engagement of state and local government, not disclosing accurately the risk of investment — those kinds of problems are a concern not only to people making the investments, but to the U.S. and El Monte because we want people to have confidence in the United States ... without that, we are going to have a crisis of confidence here and we are going to have as much credibility as North Korea, Cuba.
– Dave Gondek, Senior Deputy El Monte City Attorney, in comments to the Pasadena Star-News 

The El Monte Regional Center story isn't a happy one.The city of El Monte originally hired developers Transit Village, LLC (TV, LLC) to transform a 65-acre area around its bus station into a $1 billion mixed-use development called, fittingly, Transit Village. El Monte received USCIS approval to raise money for the project via the EB-5 investor visa program. A detailed economic blueprint of the project from 2008 offers a good overview of the city's plan.
Unfortunately, things turned sour quickly. In 2009, TV, LLC executives John Leung and Jean Lang were arrested for alleged fraud and embezzlement. No charges were ever filed, but the two are still under investigation by the FBI.