The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that the victims of a fraudulent security offering targeting non-U.S. investors will receive the return of their principal investment. In February, the SEC requested and obtained a court order freezing $147 million of investors’ funds being held in escrow by Anshoo R. Sethi and two of his companies, A Chicago Convention Center, LLC and Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago, LLC. In addition, the assets of Sethi and the companies were frozen.
According to the SEC, investors were led to believe they were financing the construction of a hotel and conference center near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. In addition, the SEC alleged that Chinese investors were misled about the prospect of gaining legal residency through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program.
Subsequent to the asset freeze order obtained by the SEC in February, Sethi and his companies terminated the investment offer and consented to the return of the investors’ funds. A federal judge has since modified the order and directed the return of the investors’ escrowed funds. The litigation remains pending and the rest of the asset freeze order remains in place.