An employee of a Chinese immigration company, Kuansheng Chen, is accused by the SEC of helping a couple — immigration lawyer Jean Chen and her husband, Tony Ye — of scamming over $12 million from EB-5 investors. Kuansheng Chen claims Ye hacked his account to illicitly move investor funds. He also claims that the SEC has no jurisdiction over him as he has always lived in Beijing and Hong Kong where he broke no local laws.
Kuansheng Chen wants a California judge to remove him from the SEC Golden State Regional Center fraud suit according to his two bold — and disconnected — claims: one, that his identity was impersonated to illegally move investor EB5 funds out of an account; and, two, that the SEC has no jurisdiction over him in his homeland.
The SEC argues that Kuansheng Chen is a close personal friend of Jean Chen, the immigration lawyer who, with her husband, defrauded immigrant investors out of more than $12 million dollars. The agency contends that Kuansheng Chen provided an offshore account to receive the EB5 investment funds, and that the Beijing immigration company he worked for was actually co-owned and controlled by Jean Chen and Ye.
Kuansheng Chen claims that Tony Ye was impersonating him and it was Ye who was illegally moving money out of Chen’s U.S. brokerage account. Kuansheng Chen claims there is an FBI investigation that proves such an identity theft occurred.
Curiously, though Kuansheng Chen does not deny being involved to some respect with the Chinese EB5 Green Card investors who provided their capital in this scam, he claims he never received any commission or referral fees. This begs the question of why he was involved in providing immigrant investors to Jean Chen and her husband if no compensation was involved.
Further to his claims of no wrong-doing, Kuansheng Chen argues that as he has no connections to the U.S., and as he has not broken any local laws in his homeland, that the SEC has no jurisdiction over him. One look at this EB5 news story might think that if his claims of innocence were true that such an argument over jurisdiction would be superfluous.
Original SEC complaint in Golden State Regional Center fraud case
The original SEC complaint accuses Jean Chen and Tony Ye of “fraud, self-dealing, and unregistered brokerage activity.” It alleges that the pair secretly owned and operated Golden State Regional Center without disclosing this material information to the immigrant investors. The agency also alleges that the pair, once they were aware of the investigation, engaged in a “cover-up,” and refused to yield documents, manufactured evidence, and tried to destroy records.
Read the original complaint