SEC Charges New York Businessman with Fraud and Unregistered Sales of Securities to Investors Seeking Permanent Residency in the U.S.
NY-based immigration attorney and her firm also charged for role in unregistered sales
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington D.C., Nov. 21, 2023 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Nadim Ahmed, a New York-based businessman and his companies, NuRide Transportation Group, LLC and NYC Green Transportation Group, LLC, with making fraudulent misrepresentations in securities offerings to investors seeking permanent residency through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The SEC also charged Ahmed along with Mehreen Shah a/k/a Mona Shah, a New York-based immigration attorney, and her law firm with offering unregistered securities to investors in offerings that raised more than $66 million from more than 100 investors.
Under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, investors are eligible for permanent residency status in the U.S. if they make a qualifying investment in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. that creates a certain number of permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. According to the SEC’s complaint, from approximately June 2014 through December 2018, Ahmed, NuRide and NYC Green falsely told NYC Green investors that NYC Green would be operated in a manner consistent with the requirements of the EB-5 visa program and that NYC Green’s principals had contributed $11 million to the company. Further, Ahmed, NuRide, and NYC Green allegedly put key revenue-generating contracts in NuRide’s name despite telling investors that NYC Green would be the operating transportation business. Ahmed also allegedly used one investor’s funds to pay a portion of a prior settlement between another one of his companies and the SEC.
In addition, from June 2014 through November 2022, Ahmed, NuRide, and NYC Green, along with Shah, her law firm, and three other entities associated with Ahmed and/or Shah, allegedly offered or sold unregistered securities, including to individuals residing in the United States, in three offerings, for which no exemption to the registration requirements was available.
According to the complaint, to date, none of the investors in the offerings has received unconditional permanent residency status or a return of their investment.
“All offering materials, including those provided to investors seeking residency under the EB-5 program, must contain accurate disclosures about the securities being issued,” said Thomas P. Smith, Jr., Associate Regional Director in the New York Regional Office. “And all securities offerings must comply with the registration requirements or the exemptions to those requirements.”
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued an Investor Alert warning of fraudulent securities offerings made through the EB-5 program.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, charges Ahmed, NYC Green, and NuRide with violating the antifraud provisions and, along with Shah, her law firm, and three other entities associated with Ahmed and/or Shah, the registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The complaint seeks permanent and conduct-based injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Karen Willenken, Ariel Atlas, Hermann Vargas, Nandy Celamy, and Alison Conn of the New York Regional Office and was supervised by Mr. Smith. The SEC's litigation will be led by Chevon Walker and Ms. Atlas. The SEC appreciates the assistance of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.