The Real Deal Los Angeles

Spotlight on EB-5, the “crack cocaine” of real estate financing

How developers and middlemen use the popular visa program to get rich
(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

From the New York April issue: Howard Michaels, the tough-talking New York City finance broker, shot off an email in 2014 to his client Michael Shvo.

Michaels, who heads the Carlton Group, had just gotten off a long phone call with Nicholas Mastroianni II, the head of the U.S. Immigration Fund, New York’s biggest EB-5 regional center, and was convinced that EB-5 money from Chinese investors was the perfect financing solution for Shvo’s planned 275-unit condo at 125 Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan. “[It] sounds like legalized crack cocaine,” he raved to Shvo, according to an email later revealed in a lawsuit between the two. “You guys would be crazy not to jump on this.” [more]