Forensic Accountant Reveals Details about Visa Scheme

Posted: Sep 10, 2014 7:11 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2014 7:12 PM

McALLEN - A forensic accountant says a couple stole more than $2 million from investors as part of a Ponzi scheme.
Marco and Bebe Ramirez are accused of taking advantage of foreign investors looking to enter the United States on EB-5 visas.

To get the visa, people must invest at least $500,000 within the United States. The money must create or preserve at least 10 jobs.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is finding cases of EB-5 fraud nationwide. They say the Ramirez's case is one of them.

The accountant just filed a report that lays out how the Ramirez operated.

Millions of investor dollars came in, but none of the money went to investments needed to obtain the visas.

According to the accountant, investor funds were never set aside for future use.

Funds from new investors were used to make Ponzi payments to earlier investors.

The accountant says funds from investors were diverted to pay for the Ramirez's personal obligations.

Investor money was quickly transferred out, sometimes the same day it was deposited.

The accountant said $500,000 in cash is missing. The couple has 10 days to turn that over.

The couple's assets are being sold to pay back those investors.

Attorneys also revealed in court Wednesday that a parallel criminal case is likely.