Feds probe company that helped get EB-5 funding for McAuliffe’s Greentech
The Associated Press is out with a damaging report on the company recruited by Terry McAuliffe to help secure funding for his Greentech Automotive start up venture.
AP reporter Alicia Caldwell has discovered that a high ranking official in the Department of Homeland Security is under investigation for helping to facilitate access to the EB-5 program for a Chinese Company through the group Gulf Coast Management.
Here is part of Caldwell’s report:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas, who has been nominated to be the department’s No. 2 leader, was named by the DHS Inspector General’s Office as a target in an ongoing investigation about the foreign investor program run by USCIS.
According to an email sent to lawmakers Monday evening, the IG’s office initially starting investigating the EB-5 visa program last year based on a referral from an FBI analyst in the counter intelligence unit in Washington. The email does not specify what criminal violations it is investigating.
The EB-5 program allows foreign nationals to get a visa if they invest $500,000 to $1 million in a project or business that creates jobs for U.S. citizens. The amount of the investment required depends on the type of project. Investors who are approved for the program can become legal permanent residents after two years and would later be eligible to become citizens.
The White House did not have an immediate comment on the investigation. Neither the department nor USCIS immediately responded to inquiries.
Were Mayorkas confirmed as the department’s deputy secretary, he likely would run the department on an interim basis until a permanent replacement has been approved to take over for departing Secretary Janet Napolitano.
The root of the complaint against Mayorkas is an allegation that he helped a financing company run by Anthony Rodham, the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, win approval for an investor visa even after the application was denied and an appeal rejected.
What Caldwell’s report doesn’t include is the connection of Gulf Coast Management to McAuliffe’s Greentech Automotive. According to Gulf Coast Management’s web site, the only company they are currently working on securing funding for is Greentech Automotive.
McAuliffe was the connection between Anthony Rodham, the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Greentech.
In the past, officials in Mississippi have blamed the lack of progress in the Greentech venture on a hold up in EB-5 funds.
Last week company spokesperson Marianne McInerney rejected any claims that Greentech was inappropriately using the EB-5 program.
“We’ve met every regulation of the EB 5 program so I would say those (claims) are misguided”, she said.
She also said that the EB-5 program was only one component of the company’s investment plan.
“EB-5 is one part, and it’s an important part, of our strategy but not the only one,” she said.
McAuliffe resigned his position with Greentech in late 2012. We will have much more on Greentech tomorrow on NBC12.