Federal agents raid California business in green card probe

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Investigators searched the office of the California Investment Immigration Fund in San Gabriel as part of the fraud investigation.

An investigation into the California Investment Immigration Fund, which has a business office in the San Gabriel Hilton, was launched in 2013.

A father and daughter duo allegedly helped obtain visas for Chinese nationals, including people on that country's "100 Most Wanted" fugitive list, by defrauding a US program that awards visas to wealthy foreigners who invest in American projects, according to federal court documents unsealed Wednesday.

A father-daughter pair allegedly helped obtain visas for Chinese nationals by defrauding a USA program that gives permanent residency to wealthy foreigners who invest in American projects.

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Feds raid San Gabriel Valley locations Wednesday, April 5, 2017 over alleged scheme giving green cards to criminals on Chinese most-wanted list.

Some of the money raised was refunded to the investors, while some of it was used to pay for houses for Victoria Chan, an attorney, and her father Tat Chan, who ran the fund, reports the AP.

Ms. Chan didn't return calls and texts seeking comment.

At least three of those fugitives were ultimately issued green cards under the program, "even though their EB-5 petitions contained false information", according to the affidavit.

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FBI Special Agent Cathy Kramer said one employee was on site as agents arrived at the California Investment Immigration Fund office at 10 a.m. Multiple email messages were sent to addresses for Victoria Chan.

The company's website promises "an end-to-end solution for a successful EB-5 Visa process, concluding with a smooth transition into the United States", and says it "focuses on financing as well as developing commercial or mixed-use real estate".

An FBI spokeswoman said no charges were filed Wednesday and no arrests were expected. The site appeared the same a few months ago and no construction permits had been pulled, Chen wrote.

The EB-5 program, which began more than two decades ago, lets foreigners pool their investments through so-called regional centers aimed at boosting economic growth in exchange for green cards.

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The latest scandal, following on earlier fraud cases in Vermont and South Dakota, comes as the U.S. Senate debates the future of the program.

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