A View of EB-5 Program Issues from a Top SEC Enforcement Official

As participation in the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigrant Investor Program or “EB-5 program” grows, regulatory interest is showing a commensurate uptick. On November 20, 2013, Associate Director Stephen Cohen of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement spoke to a meeting sponsored by the Federal Bar Association about the securities law issues implicated by the EB-5 program, and about the SEC’s efforts and interest in the area.

Current Interest: Cohen’s principal message was that sales of interests through the EB-5 program could involve securities, and he indicated that this occasionally surprised people involved in the program. Therefore, participants should pay attention to the requirements of federal securities laws. Cohen said that the SEC is very involved in considering EB-5 activity, including two recent enforcement actions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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