Anshoo Sethi will soon be sentenced to prison for EB-5 visa wire fraud case
Ambitious Indian American’s plea deal rejected.
Anshoo Sethi, an over ambitious Indian American man who dreamed of building a $900 million hotel and convention complex near O’Hare Airport in Chicago has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing.
According to the charge sheet, Sethi assembled a team of political heavyweights, including Illinois House Speaker Michael J Madigan, and left for China to find investors.
Federal authorities also claimed that Sethi used fake documents to raise millions from Chinese investors who were taken into confidence promising them US residency in return for investing.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that Sethi is currently charged under wire fraud and the misuse of the popular EB-5 visa program that allows foreign citizens to acquire green cards.
According to Sethi’s attorney, his client was misled by consultants and he is ready to repay $145 million.
With the court completing the hearing of the case, Sethi’s sentencing will be announced this week after pleading guilty to wire fraud.
Sethi, in a last attempt to avoid prison has offered federal investigators to reveal the names of his advisers, but the investigators were little interested in the proposal. Prosecutors have “even told the probation officer that, as far as follow-up with specific politicians involved in the project, the FBI ‘did not and would not’ be interviewing them,” Collins wrote in a court filing Nov. 16.
The FBI has requested the court to give Sethi a sentencing of at least six years, citing that he was non-cooperational during the course of the investigation and failed to provide any particularly credible information, said reports.
While the feds say Sethi “was indisputably the CEO of this fraudulent operation,” Collins doesn’t see it that way.
“Anshoo’s role in this offense was not that of a criminal mastermind but rather an ambitious young man who was hopelessly outplayed by unscrupulous third-party consultants and advisers, some of whom even admitted to the government . . . that they purposely lied to or misled Anshoo,” Collins wrote.
“Anshoo was referred by the high-profile players to a number of seasoned advisers and lobbyists who soon found themselves on the project’s payroll as consultants,” he wrote. “Anshoo was no match for these players . . . Anshoo did not even have the sophistication to know that he was being played.”
Sethi’s fraud was exposed in February 2013 when the US Security and Exchange Commission registered a case accusing the Indian American of misguiding the Chinese investors about the progress of the projects.
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