Federal agents have conducted raids in San Gabriel Valley, California as part of an alleged visa fraud investigation.
According to FOX 11, officials from the FBI and Homeland Security Investigation are looking into a multi-million dollar fraud scheme that targets Chinese foreign nationals who are willing to buy their way into the United States.
Agents have raided a business office in the Hilton and two homes in Arcadia and El Monte in attempt to gather more information and evidence which could help in future arrests.
“Basically we’re seizing computer and documentary evidence at this point. It’s going to be a long ongoing investigation and further information will be forthcoming during the prosecution,” said FBI Special Agent Cathy Kramer.
The search warrant is targeting the San Gabriel Hilton office California Investment Immigration Fund which was set up by an attorney named Victoria Chan and her father. The business has ventures in hotels, retail and real estate.
In the court documents, it was revealed that more than 100 Chinese nationals sought the help of California Investment Immigration Fund to obtain an EB-5 visa. This type of visa is issued by the government to those who are willing to invest $500,000 in a U.S. businesses.
However, after generating proceeds of more than $50 million, officials said that instead of investing the money, California Investment Immigration Fund either refunded the money back to their client after taking a cut or used it for personal gains.
Furthermore, ABC 7 said that three of the investors who were granted visas were included in China’s 100 Most Wanted list.
Officials stated that while there were some who knew the business was illegal right off the bat, some of the victims were legitimately scammed. The FBI urges victims to come forward and help with the investigation.