Disbarred Calif. Atty. Hit with New Million Dollar Lawsuit Related to EB-5 Visa Fraud Scheme

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USA Herald – This is the case of an unscrupulous, now disbarred, California attorney who stole millions of dollars from unsuspecting Chinese investors that were lured into Victoria Chan’s EB-5 Visa scheme that convinced her investors to give her millions of dollars in exchange for promises that they would be granted visa’s into the United States.

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In the case of Xia et al. v. California Investment Immigration Fund LLC et al., in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, yet another lawsuit has been filed against attorney Chan following her 2017 downfall resulting in a fraud conviction.

In 2017, Chan plead guilty to operating a $50 million EB-5 visa fraud scheme, and today she is faced with more legal troubles. A new lawsuit has been filed by four Chinese nationals that accuse the disbarred lawyer and several of her associates of spending their money for their own personal gain, rather than investing it in American businesses that would have created at least 10 jobs for Americans, for each $500,000 invested.

The plaintiffs are several of Chan’s defrauded investors, Yeqing Xia, Rui Zhang, Song Yao Li, and Ting Li, who allege that Victoria Chan, her father, and another woman intentionally defrauded them.

According to the complaint, the investors say they were tricked into investing $500,000 into Chan’s project which would ostensibly be located in a low-income community. The investors allege that Chan and her co-defendants had promised the chance to obtain permanent residency in the United States through the federal government’s EB-5 visa program. 

The investors said, “Instead of investing the money with American businesses, defendants, and/or each of them, spent the money on lavish items such as vehicles, homes, and other real estate properties.”

In 2021, Chan was sentenced to one day in jail and was given credit for time served; she was also ordered to pay over $32 million in restitution. At the time, Chan and her co-conspirators entered into a plea deal with the FBI, to forfeit eight properties worth close to $25 million dollars, which Chan purchased with funds she stole from her investors.

In addition to the criminal fraud conviction, Chan and her co-defendants have faced no less than four other civil lawsuits related to their EB-5 visa scam.

In February 2018, Chan and her solo practice, Harris Law Group USA LLC, were found liable for paying a $26.7 million default judgment entered against her. Chan’s legal woes didn’t stop there. In 2019, the court ordered Chan to pay $1.8 million to one of her investors, and in another civil suit, one of Chan’s investors was awarded close to $2.2 million.

Chan was suspended from the practice of law in January 2018, and in July 2022, The California State Bar pointed to Chan’s criminal convictions and crimes of moral turpitude, when the decision was made to disbar her.

In the current suit, the investors say that in 2008, Chan’s co-defendants, Tat Chan and Fang Zeng traveled from the U.S. and China to market their EB-5 scheme that promised green cards to Chinese nationals.

The investors said they were promised eligibility for a two-year green card, which would then convert to permanent residency green cards after the investment project became operational. According to the complaint, Victoria Chan would personally assist with the preparation of legal paperwork and applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

According to the investors, Chan never put their funds towards any EB-5 projects, which the investors argue, placed their visa status in jeopardy.

The complaint says, “The conduct of Tat Chan, Fang Zeng, and Victoria Chan was intentional, willful, wrongful, knowing, fraudulent, malicious, oppressive, despicable, done in bad faith, and ratified by each of them.”

The plaintiffs are seeking the return of the money they invested, plus punitive damages in the amount of $1 million dollars from each defendant.