SEC vs Seyed Taher Kameli: final decision on EB-5 case

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Seyed Taher Kameli

On January 24, 2022, Seyed Taher Kameli, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations of fraud, agreed to the entry of a final judgment in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.

As summarized in the SEC’s press release, the second amended complaint,  filed in May 2019, alleged the following facts:

“Kameli and his companies, Defendants Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group, LLC and American Enterprise Pioneers, Inc. (“Defendants”), claimed to at least 226 foreign investors that each of their $500,000 investments would be used to help construct a specific senior living project in the Chicago area or Florida and create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs within that project and that this would qualify each investor for a potential path to permanent U.S. residency through the EB-5 program. As alleged, some of the investors were Kameli’s immigration clients. According to the SEC’s complaint, rather than use investor funds solely for the senior living project for which an investor was solicited, Defendants improperly commingled and misused a portion of the approximately $88.7 million raised, which was contrary to representations to investors and the requirements of the EB-5 Program.”

Taher Kameli complies with the SEC’s penalties that include an agreement to never violate Section 10 (b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the associated Rule 10b5 and an order to pay $1,172,000 plus pretrial interest of $ 108,161. Also, he has been instructed to pay a civil penalty of $320,000.

As part of the settlement, Taher Kameli also agreed to the entry of an administrative order by the SEC that would suspend him from practicing before the SEC for 5 years, after which time Kameli is allowed to apply for the reinstatement of the privilege to appear and practice before the SEC.

The SEC investigation was conducted by Tracy Lo and BeLinda Mathie of the Chicago office and supervised by Steven Klawans. The proceedings were led by Eric Philips and Alyssa Qualls. Taher Kameli and the SEC appreciate the support of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that manage the EB5 program.

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