Press "Enter" to skip to content

Taking Notes from South Dakota, Chinese Recruiter Uses Trump to Recruit EB-5 Investors

One of the advantages South Dakota’s EB-5 visa investment recruitment efforts enjoyed was that recruiters could tell investors in projects like Northern Beef Packers and the Iberdrola Buffalo Ridge II wind farm that our EB-5 Regional Center could claim the imprimatur of South Dakota state government. South Dakota’s EB-5 program wasn’t just another private profiteer; it was a reliable public agency, using the official state logo in its offering memoranda. Our EB-5 projects enjoyed loans and guarantees from the state. Foreign investors could be assured that the state government would actively monitor the EB-5 program and keep everything on the up and up. Our EB-5 recruiters could entice investors into Northern Beef Packers by touting the backing of Governor M. Michael Rounds via his overhyped and ill-fated South Dakota Certified Beef program. Governor M. Michael Rounds himself signed a letter to investors on his official stationery, under the state seal, inviting foreigners to invest in our EB-5 projects.

The Trump family has apparently taken notes from South Dakota’s EB-5 program. The recruiter soliciting more Chinese investors for Trump/Kushner projects is straight-up telling their marks that the President of the United States himself will make sure their investments in Kushner properties pan out:

For Chinese citizens, American green cards can be notoriously difficult to obtain. But a Beijing immigration company called Qiaowai tells visa applicants of a secret weapon: It is working on behalf of a real estate firm owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.

“They said the president would make sure it came through,” said Lu Ling, a technology executive in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. “They said there was no chance it could fail” [Javier C. Hernández and Jesse Drucker, “How to Woo Chinese Investors: With Vias Offers and the Trump Name,” New York Times, 2017.05.19].

QWOS—Qiaowai—侨外—website logo, screen cap 2017.05.21
QWOS—Qiaowai—侨外—website logo, screen cap 2017.05.21

EB-5 investments are supposed to be at risk, and EB-5 rules say recruiters may not promise green cards or returns on investment. Qiaowai, like Trump, has been making such heedless and illegal promises about the EB-5 projects it promotes since at least 2010.

Qiaowai—侨外, which Google translates as “Overseas Chinese”—hosted EB-5 recruitment events for the South Dakota Regional Center in August 2010. South Dakota’s freshly self-privatized EB-5 czar Joop Bollen and former USCIS EB-5 official Maurice Berez helped Qiaowai tell Chinese investors how gosh-darn great investing in South Dakota projects would be. In his April 2014 deposition in the Darley v. SDIBI lawsuit, Bollen named Ding Ying, there cited as owner of GDOS but also CEO of Qiaowai/Overseas Chinese, as South Dakota’s EB-5 recruiter.


  1. Rorschach 2017-05-21 09:15

    Any fool who falls for this transparent ploy will be parted from his/her money.

  2. mike from iowa 2017-05-21 09:58

    I just emailed parts of this post to my Sinator Grassley asking Chuck what he is going to do about obvious law breakers. I have had a running complaint with his office that they ignore obvious breeches of ethics and laws when it is His party doing it.

    Of course I get the thanks for writing and did we tell you all the good things we are doing like taking healthcare away from millions.

    I am persistent-like a noxious new weed and I don’t give up easily. I intend to hound Grassley’s ass out of congress where he has been the majority of his life feeding well at the public trough.

    This guy heads the Sinate Judicial Committee, but has really poor judgment imho.

  3. Rorschach 2017-05-21 12:20

    Good effort, Mike. But it appears you will hound Grassley out of office like South Carolina hounded Strom Thurmond out of office. I hope I’m wrong.

  4. leslie 2017-05-21 21:47

    rounds, daugaard, jackley & tidemann and Regents need EB5 in the news like a … you know what. we need to keep this matter open questioning them and the FBI/USCIS investigation into how the state of south Dakota swindled $600 mill cash flow out of foreign investors so Joop got rich. EB5 itself is not necessarily “bad”, but republicans hijack in SD was …, so “sad”. we need to take a senatorship away and make tidemann and daugaard understand that Regents can’t hide the ball in the investigatory process like they did and get away with it, by firing the FBI boss, say for example, like common unethical republican SOP.

    proceed, trumps. lay it out to the world.

  5. grudznick 2017-05-21 21:48

    Mr. H just found the connection with Ms. Krebs. Or whoever was the State Secretary at the time. Was it that Jabba the Gant fellow back then? You can’t use the state symbols without permission from the State Secretary.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-22 14:55

    Grudz, read more closely: I said state logo, not state seal. SDRC materials used the cursive South Dakota script and the “Great Faces Great Places” motto. SOS isn’t involved in use of that logo.

    Governor Rounds’s letters use the state seal.

  7. grudznick 2017-05-22 17:42

    Mr. H, many private entities can use the cursive South Dakota script. it does not give them any official notice of sanction. To quibble with you and test my new skill of cutting and gluing of blue links, I go to

    There is a picture of a map there, of the sort handed out at every tourist trap in and around the black hills. Not by the government but by the Black Hills and Badlands Tourism association. It says so on the map. Now look in the bottom right corner. They’re using the script! Are they a reliable public agency which is part of government? I note that they display several logos on their blog that look like government logos.

    Oh my! I think there are thousands of pages and blogs using those logos. Look here:
    Pheasant guiding, by a purported reliable public agency? This particular “reliable public agency” even has a link to Romans 1:20 on their blog. We must stop them!

    No, wait…my granddaughter has a friend who’s boyfriend works for the Tourism Department. Look here, it says that private organizations (like Mr. Bollen’s E-B5 center) may use it if they conform to the right color. So any imprimatur is clearly coming from the mind of the conspiracy theorists and not from the government of the state. Mr. H, I submit that you could blog using that same logo and no logo police would come down on you with billies. has your answers.

  8. grudznick 2017-05-22 17:44

    grudznick is being moderated, perhaps for too many blue links or perhaps for besting Mr. H in a point.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-22 19:00

    Links triggered the moderation—sorry about that!

    Besting never does… particularly in this case, since it didn’t happen.

    My point has never been that our EB-5 operators used any state insignia without permission. My point above was that Bollen, Benda, and Rounds used the state insignia to signal the imprimatur of state government and give foreign investors an exaggerated sense of the security of their investments in South Dakota’s EB-5 projects.

  10. grudznick 2017-05-22 19:12

    The pheasant hunting operation uses the state insignia to signal the imprimatur of state government and give out of state customers an exaggerated sense of the hunting outfit’s association with South Dakota, perhaps portraying them as the “official” pheasant hunting outfit.

    And thank you, Mr. H. I apologize for the excessive blue links and will avoid that in the future.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-23 11:08

    The links aren’t excessive. I welcome lots of links. However, to make sure spammers don’t get through, posts with multiple links usually go to the moderation queue to await my review.

  12. leslie 2017-05-23 21:14

    grudz- ” private organizations (like Mr. Bollen’s E-B5 center)”-not even close old man. Joop was employed by the state and housed at Regent’s NSU Business Center. later, after criminal machinations he tried to privitize.

  13. mike from iowa 2017-05-25 17:11

    My response from “Chuck” on EB-5 and related matters-

    Dear Mr. McClaren:(that’s Me)

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me to express your opposition to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. As your United States Senator, I appreciate having the benefit of your thoughts and views on this important piece of legislation.

    The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program allows foreign investors to put themselves on a path to American citizenship by providing $500,000 to more than $1,000,000 to start a business which provides direct or indirect employment for at least 10 Americans. However, given the rampant fraud, abuse and national security weaknesses in the EB-5 program in recent years, we can no longer accept the status quo.

    I’ve been scrutinizing and working for reform of the EB-5 program for years, and in the face of well-organized opposition. The program must be reformed or scrapped entirely. In fact, on May 9, 2017 I called on Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to expedite proposed regulations targeting abuse and national security concerns in the EB-5 Investor Visa Program, and to clarify that the department is processing EB-5 applications in a fair and transparent manner. The request follows a recent extension of the EB-5 program without any reforms and a reported pitch by Kushner Companies implying that potential investors should invest soon to avoid changes in program rules.

    Now that the program has again been extended without needed reforms, the Trump administration should continue its work to roll out regulations to help address EB-5’s well-documented flaws. The Administration should do so in a transparent manner that makes clear to those in line for an EB-5 visa, or considering it, that change is on the horizon.

    In addition, there has been a photograph circling various new outlets recently depicting myself and Senator Patrick Leahy at a conference in Beijing. The photograph was part of a slide of “key decision makers” in EB-5 program policy, and should in no way imply that I am in favor of selling visas. I did not attend a conference in China nor do I have any knowledge of the origin of this photograph. I believe the photo was being used to show potential investors that Sen. Leahy and I were pushing reforms and that investors needed to get their applications in before these reforms were made.

    Again, thank you for contacting me regarding this very important issue. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me. It is only through the involvement of hard working men and women like you that I am able to effectively represent the State of Iowa.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.