SEC Charges Unregistered Sales of Securities Issued Under EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington D.C., Sept. 21, 2018 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that an Illinois-based regional center, its CEO, and 37 affiliated limited partnerships have agreed to settle charges related to securities issued under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which provides foreigners who invest in the U.S. a potential path to becoming a U.S. resident.
According to the SEC’s order, from 2011 to 2015, 37 entities affiliated with CMB Export LLC offered EB-5 securities in the form of limited partnership interests without registering them with the SEC and without a valid exemption from registration. The order also found that CMB Export, at the direction of its CEO Patrick Hogan, paid transaction-based compensation to U.S. individuals and entities for soliciting foreign investors to purchase these securities. In 2015, CMB and Hogan began developing and implementing a compliance program to ensure compliance with the federal securities laws.
“All securities, including EB-5 securities, must comply with registration provisions, which are essential to protecting investors,” said Melissa R. Hodgman, Associate Director of the Division of Enforcement. “In the EB-5 industry, strong compliance policies can help ensure that companies meet their registration obligations under the federal securities laws.”
CMB Export and Hogan neither admitted nor denied the findings in the SEC’s order, which requires them to cease and desist from further violations of the broker-dealer registration requirements of the federal securities laws. The CMB limited partnerships neither admitted nor denied the findings in the SEC’s order, which requires them to cease and desist from further violations of registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The order also requires CMB Export to pay a $5.15 million penalty, Hogan to pay a penalty of $515,000, and each of the 37 CMB limited partnerships to pay a penalty of $160,000, for total monetary relief of $11.585 million.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Heather A. Powell, Sarah M. Hall, and D. Ashley Dolan and supervised by Melissa A. Robertson of the SEC’s Washington D.C. office. The SEC appreciates the assistance of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.