Adult Care Center Developer Wants A Say In EB-5 Row

Adult Care Center Developer Wants A Say In EB-5 Row

A company involved in developing an “adult day care center” has tried to intervene in a California federal dispute between a Chinese national and an attorney who allegedly worked with her on an EB-5 visa issue, saying it is evident none of the parties properly represents the company's interests. 
According to court documents filed Thursday, Americana One LLC is seeking to intervene in a case filed by Shoumin Zhang, who is aiming to recoup a $500,000 investment she claims Hu & Associates attorney John Hu induced her to make on the promise of an EB-5 visa.

The EB-5 program offers foreign nationals green cards in exchange for investments in American projects, as long as the investment creates at least 10 jobs. Generally, the minimum investment is $1 million, but $500,000 is also enough to qualify if it is made in a rural or high-unemployment area.

According to Americana One’s court filing, the company’s only business undertaking is the “renovation and development of an adult day care center” in Tustin, California. To drum up capital for the project, the company had released a private placement offering and arranged the “investment opportunity” to “qualify its subscribers” for an EB-5 visa, according to the document.

However, Zhang claims to have been fraudulently induced to buy into Americana One’s alleged commercial development project. She claimed the investment proved to be worthless, and after her I-526 petition for the visa was denied, the defendants reneged on an agreement to refund the full amount unless she agreed to use about $38,000 of it to pay legal fees to Hu.

But Hu & Associates said Zhang voluntarily withdrew her visa application when she realized she would be unable to substitute her daughter for herself on it. The firm filed a counterclaim for defamation, abuse of process and intentional interference. The counterclaim was struck by the court in April, and Hu & Associates has appealed the dismissal to the Ninth Circuit.

On Thursday, Americana One argued that it is “patently clear that no party herein adequately represents Americana One’s interests in the outcome of this litigation.”

“Americana One and Shoumin Zhang are adverse parties. Defendant and counterclaimant John Hu does not have the capability, willingness, nor incentive to make Americana One’s contractual arguments,” the company argued.

Although Americana One had originally been named as a defendant in the case, the company was terminated in March. The judge specifically found that Zhang had “made no allegations that Americana One made any misrepresentations to plaintiff.”

Attorneys for Zhang, Hu and Americana One did not provide comment on Monday afternoon.

Zhang is represented by Jason Chuan and Mary M. Sun of the Law Office of Mary Sun.

Hu & Associates and John Hu are represented by Gary M.C. Wong of Hu & Associates.

Americana One LLC is represented by Jeffrey C. Chiao of the Jeffrey C Chiao Law Offices.

The case is Zhang v. American Franchise Regional Center LLC et al., case number 2:15-cv-09583, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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