Grenada government expects no negative fallout from fraud charges against economic citizen
The government of Grenada said it does not expect any negative fallout from a what it described as a civil matter in the United States involving Charles Liu, a citizen of Grenada under Section 11 of the Citizen by Investment Act, because the matter has nothing to do with the CBI programme.
According to the government, “A civil suit was brought against Mr Charles by an investor who reported him to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US, requesting that an investigation be conducted because two years had passed since he approached them for money to construct a modern cancer hospital.”
However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said last week that it had filed fraud charges and obtained an asset freeze against Lui and his wife, who are accused of misusing two-thirds of the money they raised from investors for the purpose of building and operating a new cancer treatment centre that would use proton beam radiation to help oncology patients in Southern California.
Although the investigation may have been triggered by an aggrieved investor, the SEC made it plain that the complaint was filed by them, not the investor.
“We allege that Liu and Wang are using investor funds as their personal piggy bank and exploiting Chinese residents who were assured they were investing in an innovative project to create jobs and cure cancer patients,” said Michele Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.
During Tuesday’s post cabinet briefing, Minister for Economic Development Oliver Joseph said, “While it is unlikely that the matter will become a criminal indictment, Grenada will take whatever action is deemed necessary.”
Joseph did not explain the grounds for his assertion that a criminal indictment is unlikely to be filed, given that the allegations involve fraud and theft.
Liu is one of the significant investors in the proposed Mt Hartman Project in Grenada, and was appointed as an agent for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme in the United States.
Joseph said Grenada is working closely with the US government and other stakeholders on the issue.
In a similar situation just last week, when it was revealed that two St Kitts and Nevis economic citizens had been charged by the SEC with running a fraudulent investment scheme, the government in Basseterre moved very quickly to revoke their citizenships.
It now seems unlikely that Grenada will act equally expeditiously.
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