U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23326 / August 25, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Path America, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-01350 JLR (W.D. Wash. filed Aug. 24, 2015)
SEC Announces Asset Freeze Against Alleged EB-5 Fraudster in Seattle Area
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an asset freeze obtained against a man in Bellevue, Wash., accused of defrauding Chinese investors seeking U.S. residency through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program by investing in his companies.
The SEC alleges that Lobsang Dargey and his Path America companies have raised at least $125 million for two real estate projects: a skyscraper in downtown Seattle and a mixed-use commercial and residential development containing a farmers' market in Everett, Wash. But Dargey diverted $14 million for unrelated real estate projects and $3 million for personal use including the purchase of his $2.5 million home and cash withdrawals at casinos.
According to the SEC's complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington:
The court granted the SEC's request for an asset freeze and issued an order restraining Dargey and his companies from soliciting additional investors. The SEC also was granted an order expediting discovery, prohibiting the destruction of documents, and requiring Dargey to repatriate funds he transferred to overseas bank accounts.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Brent Smyth and Michael Foley of the San Francisco office and supervised by Steven Buchholz. The SEC's litigation will be led by Mr. Smyth and Susan LaMarca. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the USCIS.