SEC Investigating Two Dozen Lawyers for Accepting EB-5 Referral Fees
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating approximately two dozen immigration lawyers in the US regarding fees accepted for referring clients to EB-5 regional centers. According to Bloomberg Business:
The most recent SEC foray into the program involves immigration lawyers who helped find investors for the regional centers. If they are paid a fee for doing so, they may be running afoul of securities laws, which require anyone accepting a fee for facilitating a private securities transaction to be registered as a broker.
The lawyers could face financial penalties as well as a suspension or ban from working in the securities industry. SEC spokesman Kevin Callahan declined to comment.
The practice of accepting referral fees has been common for the past twenty years, but this is the first known instance of the SEC considering the question.
Note: Siskind Susser has never accepted finders or referral fees from EB-5 regional centers.