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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has called for an investigation into "potentially fraudulent statements and misrepresentations" made by companies promoting investment in a property development involving the family company of White House advisor Jared Kushner.
Citing a May 12 report by Reuters, Chuck Grassley, a Republican senator from Iowa, requested a review of claims made by Chinese migration agency
Grassley flagged his concerns to the Department of Homeland Security and the Securities and Exchange Commission in a May 24 letter that was later posted on his website.
Jupiter, Florida-based USIF contracted with Beijing-based
Kushner Companies is also working with KABR Group, a private equity fund, on the One Journal Square project, according to marketing materials on Qiaowai's website. The developers are seeking to raise $150 million, or 15.4 percent of the funding, from EB-5 investors.
Because the SEC considers some EB-5 investments securities, companies, and individuals that market these investments must comply with U.S. securities laws.
EB-5 schemes must also comply with immigration rules. Under
In an emailed response to a request for comment on Grassley's letter, Stu Loeser, a spokesman for USIF, said: "
Reuters previously revealed that
After Reuters contacted
It is a fundamental rule of the EB-5 program that an
Kushner Companies and the SEC declined to comment.
Chinese investors account for around 80 percent of the nearly 10,000 EB-5 visas issued annually.
Criticism of the program has centered on instances of fraud and the fact that most of the funds in a program originally intended to help impoverished areas have instead gone to wealthy urban districts. Despite these concerns, earlier this month, Congress extended the EB-5 program until September 30.
The Chinese road show for One Journal Square earlier this month also attracted criticism. Kushner Companies apologized for Nicole Kushner Meyers reference to her brother, President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, during the road show.
The company stressed that he was only mentioned in order to make clear that he was not involved with the project. Kushner Companies representatives skipped some later road show events.
Jared Kushner, whose White House portfolio includes relations with China, sold his stake in Kushner Companies to a family trust early this year.