2006 - 2014
In 2006, Justin Moongyu Lee and his partner Thomas Kent, both immigration attorneys in Los Angeles, submitted an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) for designation as a regional center under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Subsequently, Lee, his wife Rebecca Lee, and Kent raised more than $11.5 million from foreign investors seeking visas.
The trio told their investors the funds would be used to build an ethanol production plant in Ulysses, Kansas. Even though construction on the plant ceased in 2008 before its completion, Lee and Kent continued to advertise the project to garner EB-5 investments for several years.
In 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a criminal complaint against the Lees and Kent alleging they defrauded investors and misappropriated millions of the investors’ money.