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Modern Land-owned developers settle SEC charges over EB-5 project

Three developers of what was supposed to be a seniors housing, luxury residential and retail project in Pearland, Texas, settled charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission and agreed to pay $51.4 million in penalty and reimbursement to foreign investors who provided about $50 million into the project through the EB-5 visa program, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the SEC, the developers instead "improperly" transferred $20.5 million into unrelated real estate projects and none of the investors have obtained visas, the publication added.

The developers — America Modern Green Senior (Houston) LLC, America Modern Green Community (Houston) LLC, and America Modern Green Residential (Houston) LLC — and Crown Point Regional Center, the company that marketed the visas abroad, are owned by Hong Kong-based developer Modern Land (China) Co. Ltd., WSJ added, citing documents that it reviewed. The developers did not admit or deny the civil action's findings, according to the SEC order.

Representatives of the developers, Crown Point and Modern Land did not respond to requests for comment, while a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which runs the EB-5 program, declined to comment on the SEC action, according to the Jan. 8 report.