Wasserman, Mancini & Chang

$1.0 million

Washington, DC

2016 - 2016

Soon Che and Li Che were looking for an opportunity to establish themselves in the United States through the EB-5 Visa program when they ran into another couple who housed them in their mansion for several weeks. The couple who housed them, Xiaolan Zhang and Peine Yan, seemed to be an affluent duo with a mansion in Washington, D.C. In reality, the couple were scammers operating a Ponzi scheme. Xiaolan Zhang was using other people’s credit cards to purchase goods and resell them and Peine Yan was on probation for bankruptcy fraud.

The fraudsters recommended the visa-seeking couple, Soon and Li Che, see attorney Sam Chang at the lawfirm Wasserman, Mancini & Chang about making an EB-5 investment. Chang directed Soon and Li to deposit $1,020,000 in an account, which Chang said would be used to create new EB-5 eligible businesses. Unfortunately, however, the funds were transferred to and squandered by Zhang and Yan, the schemester-couple housing Soon and Li.

The Ches subsequently pursued lawsuits to recover their stolen funds only to discover the couple who scammed them had no assets. They then moved to sue the lawyer for mishandling their funds, failing to disclose that they were being scammed, and failing to properly handle the EB-5 petition.