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ABC News Catching up with EB-5 Fraud and Corruption; Ready for Your Close-up, Mike?

Last updated on 2015.03.25

Various observers have raised concerns that South Dakota's use of the EB-5 visa investment program may have opened our doors to Chinese spies and mafia. Now, two years after Iowa Senator Charles Grassley started beating the drum about the possible national security risks posed by EB-5, ABC News goes to town and trumpets the evidence we've had for two years that EB-5 is rank with fraud and corruption:

But an ABC News investigation found that in addition to reaching wealthy foreign investors, the program has become a magnet for those seeking to sidestep the scrutiny of the traditional immigration process. In one case, immigration officials pushed through a visa application from Chinese investor in a Las Vegas hotel project despite an internal review that found the investor had previously been turned back at the border, and much of his visa application had likely been fabricated, immigration records show.

A Feb. 1, 2013 Homeland Security internal review obtained by ABC News also lays out in stark detail the breadth of the troubles afflicting some of the roughly 600 so-called regional centers -- private sector entities certified by Homeland Security to recruit foreign investors for specific business ventures that will qualify for EB-5 visas. The document summarizes 41 investigations, some open and some now closed, into allegations ranging from espionage to fraud to drug trafficking involving investors in various EB-5 investment projects [Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk, "Whistleblowers: US Gave Visas to Suspected Forgers, Fraudsters, Criminals," ABC News, 2015.02.03].

Ross and Mosk mention our own Senator Mike Rounds and his love of EB-5, though they fail to get into the details. They also mention well-placed Democrats Terry McAuliffe and Nevada Senator Harry Reid (whom this blog mentioned in connection with EB-5 last November) as having used EB-5 to do favors at the expense of national interests.

ABC News also mentions an EB-5 connection to Iranian terror networks (also reported on this blog in December 2013). ABC News says that EB-5 will come before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Senator Grassley chairs, this year. Fortunately for us, Senator Mike Rounds is not on that committee. Maybe he'll be called to testify about why he gave such strong support to a program that appears to promoted crime, corruption, and possibly risks to American security in projects across the nation.


  1. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    My twitter archives at #eb5 and #bendagate have been on fire with many retweets and favorites by people doing research.

  2. Bill Fleming 2015.02.03

    Damn, Larry, at first glance, I though you were referencing a jazz chord. Darn dyslexia. I'm thinking "is he saying E-flat minor with an augmented fifth, or F minor with a flat fifth and making a little joke about the "e" part. In order to get this you have to B# about harmony 2 C it. (And about half nuts.)

  3. Owen reitzel 2015.02.03

    Man I hope this gets going

  4. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    my being nuts is fully documented as witnessed by six or seven former wives, mr. fleming.

  5. Bill Fleming 2015.02.03

    Holy smokes, Larry, you mean you've lost count? You're either incredibly persistent, or slow to learn. I have a friend who saw a counsellor about that. The counsellor said, 'Why go through all that? Just pick someone out at random every few years, give them half your money and buy them a house.' (Ba-dum, tshhhhh.)

  6. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    Oh, Bill: they've all been goddesses and i'm the pain but that must be obvious, init?

  7. Daniel Buresh 2015.02.03

    On a federal level, it will hurt Democrats more than Republicans. This is their program. The abuses are much more prevalent in blue states. At the state level, it will be nothing more than a footnote. There was no crime committed by any currently seated state official, and that is going to disappoint a lot of you.

  8. Bill Fleming 2015.02.03

    It's always interesting to me how Daniel B. knows these things before anyone else does. How does he do that?

  9. mike from iowa 2015.02.03

    Grassley can be as partisan as Darrel-my brother did it-Issa.

  10. Daniel Buresh 2015.02.03

    Bill, I require concrete evidence, not conspiracy theories you guys pull out of thin air. Watching you guys repeat the same rumors over and over again until some of you repeat them as if they were fact is quite hilarious.

  11. eb-5'r 2015.02.03

    It's one thing to create a program designed to help. It is quite another to take a program and use it as a base for corruption and death.

  12. leslie 2015.02.03

    oh dan, "in your opinion, in your opinion". back it up with something. there are about a dozen crimes alleged to have been committed. you and disgust dakota are just republican "spinners". get it? levitate on outta here.

    that a piece of nat'l legislation got used by republican crooks in sd who used it, abused it, & covered it up, aint gonna hurt dems anywhere. whoever did needs to be exposed.

  13. Daniel Buresh 2015.02.03

    Burden of proof lies with the accuser, but I didn't expect you to know that. You simply can't handle the fact that no crime was committed and it just ticks you Democrats off. Why don't you use your name or take your own cowardice behind out of here?

  14. leslie 2015.02.03

    rumor-petulant rounds falsifies evidence to GOAC. hilarious

  15. Daniel Buresh 2015.02.03

    What's the motive? Where's the intent to deceive?....but you don't have the credentials to understand all aspects of law so I don't blame you for not understanding the complexity of it all. I find it a bit sad that you are willing to open your mouth and provide proof of such ignorance. You destroy your own arguments without me even having too. It's kinda funny now that I think about it.

  16. leslie 2015.02.03

    dan burish is a fraudulent ufo hoaxster. me, i been here mosta my life but was conceived in the bighorns.

    what is it we say when a dope taunts for not laying our social# out on public media.

  17. mike from iowa 2015.02.03

    “The whistleblowers have come forward and said there's reason to be concerned whether our national security is being comprised,” Grassley said.

    A-hem,Grassley and wingnuts weren't the least concerned about security compromises when dumbass dubya,Cheney et al publicly released the name of a covert CIA agent and her husband putting all her past and present contacts around the world in danger of their lives. And it was done as political payback against the agent's husband.

  18. Daniel Buresh 2015.02.03

    Lay off the crack Leslie, You have no credibility and I doubt you even have the credentials to comprehend the topic at hand. It becomes more apparent with each post that you make.

  19. Bill Fleming 2015.02.03

    Daniel, you know better than that. Just because there is insufficient evidence to charge someone with a crime doesn't mean a crime wasn't committed.

    When you ran that red light (or over-parked and didn't get caught, whatever... you know what it is...) you committed a crime, whether you got caught and convicted or not.

    When you assert that no crime was committed, you shift the burden of proof of that claim onto yourself. And I submit you don't know that answer. Just like all the rest of us. Prove me wrong.

  20. leslie 2015.02.03

    i thought you found us hilarious, but now i'm just kinda funny? whats yer deal?

    oh, google rcj "rounds gives false committee testimony", ect. prosecutor would be jackley. no action there

  21. larry kurtz 2015.02.03

    Rounds is a crook. The Justice Department has just opened another probe into the program even as CO Representative Jared Polis has introduced a bill to make it stronger. The culture of corruption in Pierre is endemic and should be an embarrassment but expect only out of state media to cover it.

    Eric Holder has nothing to lose by exposing the graft: more is coming, people.

  22. jerry 2015.02.03

    Looks like the Rounds has transferred his war chest to Thune as Johnny cakes now claims to have a 10 million dollar war chest to go after potential Democrats who wish to challenge him. Rounds must be feeling the heat from the Grassley fire. In the meantime, nothing gets done for the state.

  23. leslie 2015.02.03

    mr. grumpy dannie boy-sdcl22.29.4

  24. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.03

    Last October the FBI reported that there was an ongoing investigation of the Mike Rounds EB-5 scandal, Daniel implies that they have not found anything that can be prosecuted. Since we haven't heard otherwise, it would be a safe assumption that FBI investigation is still "ongoing".

    With the Republican controlled judiciary, I suspect they will use "national security" to continue the cover up started by GOAC and Jackley.

    We seriously need to get all of Cory's investigative reporting to Brian Ross and ABC News.

  25. leslie 2015.02.03

    not a bad idea, Roger, given the rush before the election w/msnbc.

    the problem is the length and complexity of the weaving republican feints, and the flood of docs and reports, so abc could fit it into a reliable sound-byte, like, by tomorrow.

    not an easy job.

  26. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.03

    Thanks Leslie, and no it isn't an easy job, but it seems to ABC News would catch the FBI ongoing investigation and want to have a look.

  27. mike from iowa 2015.02.03

    Seems like Darrel Issa's investigations into Obama's "scandals" always got leaked to Fake Noize. O suspect if Issa thought Obama was involved in EB-5 stuff,the stories would be leaked all over and sworn to as gospel.

  28. CLCJM 2015.02.03

    Thanks for sharing the links, Jerry and Bill F. I wish I could say I was surprised but I'm not. Corruption has pretty much gained control round the globe.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.04

    What's the motive? Gee, Daniel, I don't know, only $140 million in easy money from foreign dupes who are less interested in financial accountability than a green card?

  30. CLCJM 2015.02.04

    Exactly, Cory, exactly!

  31. Daniel Buresh 2015.02.04

    "When you assert that no crime was committed, you shift the burden of proof of that claim onto yourself. And I submit you don't know that answer. Just like all the rest of us. Prove me wrong."

    That's not how reality works, Bill. If you falsely accuse someone with very little proof, they have no reason to provide anything.

    Leslie.....Intent is one of the hardest things to prove. They aren't going to spend a million to slap someone on the wrist for something he likely didn't intend to do, nor could they likely prove.

    Cory, go whine to Ted Kennedy about why he proposed such a plan. They set up the terms and they followed through. It was legal, plain and simple.

  32. leslie 2015.02.04

    "legal, plain and simple."

    if that were true my furious young diplomat, the legislature's resolution to subpoena docs and witness's for cross-examination, would have been observed in a bipartisan manner and all 849,995 people in SD would know if u r so right, instead of just joop, ground rounds, denny, jackley and maybe a lawyer or two.

    you know, the guys the investigations were delayed for, so they could win their republican elections.

    please stfu

  33. bearcreekbat 2015.02.04

    DB, you are incorrect in stating "Intent is one of the hardest things to prove." Just the opposite is true in criminal proceedings. Intent is one of the easiest elements to prove simply because a jury is instructed that they can "infer" the defendant's criminal intent from circumstantial evidence. No direct evidence is necessary.

  34. 96Tears 2015.02.04

    The criminal protection squad in Pierre, a.k.a., the Republican Legislative Caucus, today shut down any consideration of returning the State Ethics Commission to investigate any whiff of criminal activity as we saw with Mike Rounds and his racketeers. Those clowns stole more than $100 million and one of the two key players was being charged with felonies just as he died mysteriously of a gunshot wound to the gut, but there's no reason for concern. Pure as the driven snow.

    They one-upped Sgt. Schultz: "I know nuthink!"

    The order is now "I vill nefer know nuthink!"

    Of course, if a state party volunteer officer or a former Democratic legislator who blew the whistle on them wants to work for peanuts in the Democratic House and Senate offices, well, bring the full force of the law on their necks!!!

  35. Lynn 2015.02.04

    96 it looks like it was voted down 53-16. Where can I see the details of who voted for and against?

  36. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.04

    Given the FACT that former Senator Ted Kennedy is dead, it would be extremely difficult to whine to the senator. Obviously Daniel wasn't aware of his passing. What else is now aware of?

    What we are addressing with the Rounds EB-5 Scandal is that the South Dakota Republicans elected and appointed to run the EB-5 program totally corrupted it and wasted millions of investor and taxpayer money. NBP is not an illusion, it was a reality. Now that Cory is in Aberdeen, maybe he can tell us just how empty that plant is.

    The other reality is that Mike Rounds allowed Joop to privatize EB-5 thereby shutting the state out of $140 million dollars

    While we don't know the motivation of their crimes, we do know that there is a hell of a lot of money missing from EB-5 and from the state Future Fund grants. It is not unreasonable to assume that millions of dollars is a fairly good motivation, in the case of Bollen $140 million of motivation.

    We've all been over this before and the facts have not changed since GOAC conspired with other Republicans to shut down the investigation during the election.

    And Daniel, the other fact that has not changed are the results of FBI's ongoing investigation, which you fail to comment on.

  37. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.04

    96 Tears

    Now that the Republicans knocked down the most recent ethics bill, they can add it to the list of what makes South Dakota continually rank in the top ten of most corrupt states in the country.

  38. Daniel Buresh 2015.02.04

    Roger, maybe the Big Horns can explain that to you as well since it went right over your head as usual. You guys need to keep chanting that Benda was murdered. Then, you'll lose all credibility on your own. It can't get any dumber than that.

  39. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.04


    What part of the state won't allow a thorough investigation of Mike Rounds' EB-5 Scandal do you not understand?

    Has it ever occurred to you that accused should be able to clear their names by allowing that investigation?

    53 for continued corruption, 16 against corruption.

  40. Anne Beal 2015.02.04

    It's hard to prosecute somebody for criminal activity when you can't even figure out if a crime was committed.
    When you finally find a crime, then you can worry about who did it.

    Those of you who continue to insist that there must be a crime in here someplace, you just haven't been able to find one, are getting more and more ridiculous.

  41. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.04


    Aren't there any pro-corruption Republicans you can bore over at the Powers Dump Site?

    Pro Corruption 53 Anti-corruption 16

  42. Jana 2015.02.04

    Anne, was taxpayer money lost on the whole EB-5 scandal? Was that loss a part of a total disregard of ethical practices with tax payer money? Did the man who is in office to protect us from unethical practices have a direct conflict with his political patrons and aspirations?

    Millions are gone...poof...with no answers and worse, no curiosity of getting the money back when it could reflect as criminally negligent for those who were in power.

    Life's good for the GOP when you can make the rules for others and ignore them at the same time when they are inconvenient.

    The kid who light fingered a pack of gum from the Dakota Mart has suffered consequences far worse than those that were behind the deceptive throwing away of million of our dollars.

    Being in office in Pierre, in a one party dictatorship, is a license to steal.

  43. Jana 2015.02.04

    Daniel, humor Troy and give us the logic behind your last post.

  44. Jana 2015.02.04

    Daniel Buresh, you should also prepare to have Troy admonish you for your ad hominem attacks on poster here.

    Or maybe not.

  45. 96Tears 2015.02.05

    Felons from Al Capone to Bernie Madoff have trustworthy friends right here in Pierre, South Dakota. The following criminal protectionists are those who voted that they don’t even want an ethics commission on the heels of tens of millions stolen from the state are:

    Republican Representatives Anderson, Beal, Bolin, Brunner, Campbell, Conzet, Craig, Cronin, Deutsch, Dryden, Duvall, Gosch, Greenfield (Lana), Haggar (Don), Harrison, Haugaard, Holmes, Hunhoff (Jean), Hunt, Jensen (Alex), Johns, Klumb, Langer, Latterell, Marty, May, Mickelson, Munsterman, Novstrup (Al), Otten (Herman), Partridge, Peterson (Kent), Qualm, Rasmussen, Romkema, Rounds, Rozum, Schaefer, Schoenbeck, Schoenfish, Sly, Solum, Stalzer, Stevens, Tulson, Verchio, Werner, Westra, Wiik, Willadsen, Wollmann, Zikmund and Wink.

  46. Lynn 2015.02.05

    I couldn't find anything in the Argus Sanford regarding the ethics commission unless I missed it somewhere.

  47. 96Tears 2015.02.05

    Argus Sanford is Report No Evil (if it implicates beloved Pierre power structure for fear of advertising loss reprisals).

  48. clcjm 2015.02.19

    Anne, just because no one has been able to pin down a crime doesn't mean there hasn't been a crime. It probably means that all that missing money got spread around really strategically to keep that crime from being revealed. But mark my words somebody knows something! And there's an old saying: two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. But I wouldn't bet on that either. I really believe some day this will come out. There aren't enough rocks on the planet to bury EB5 that deep!

Comments are closed.