On Thursday, it was announced that a South Bay Business owner and her business partner were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Jennifer Yang and partner, Daniel Wu, are accused of carrying out a scheme to fraudulently obtain immigration benefits through the EB-5 visa program. The superseding indictment suggests that the duo submitted fraudulent documents to the United States containing fake jobs and bogus investments.
The EB-5 program is administered by the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security. It enables foreigners to gain Legal Permanent Residency by making investments in a commercial enterprise. The investment much be at least $500,000 depending on the geographical area and employment rate.
The indictment explains that 50-year-old Jennifer Yang of Palo Alto is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia. She offered her expertise for people interested in apply for benefits through the EB-5 program. Since 2007 and until 2016, the defendants filed visa petitions for at least seven foreigners. In return, the foreigners provided the defendants with at least four million dollars.
Instead of making legitimate investments and creating jobs, the indictment alleges that the defendants embellished and submitted false records to defraud the government. In some cases, the defendants used the information of 3rd parties, without their permission or knowledge. The indictment also concludes that the defendants often used the money for personal purposes instead of commercial purposes.
Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges. They have been released on a $500,000 bond each. Remember that both are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Additional details can be found here.