Las Olas Ocean Resort 

$30.0 million

Fort Lauderdale, FL

2013 - 2018

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida an unfinished resort is caught in a complicated string of lawsuits stemming from alleged EB-5 fraud. The developer of the hotel project 550 Sea Breeze Development LLC sought protection in a series of lawsuits against involved entities. These include Bancorp, a Delaware based group, and Las Olas Mezzanine Borrower LLC who are being sued by EB-5 investors. The plaintiffs claim that the terms of the loans were misrepresented as the construction project went bankrupt.

Jeffrey Schneider, a founding partner at Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman in Miami filed the investors’ complaint along with Reid & Wise member and litigation department head Matthew Sava in New York. The complaint lists fraud in the inducement, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting fraud, equitable subordination and objection to claims counts. Bancorp issued an initial $21.5 million project loan. When Las Olas Mezzanine Borrower sought another loan from the bank, that $50 million loan was contingent on investment from 60 EB-5 investors, according to the complaint.

Currently, 21 Chinese investors are suing but more are expected.