Report: Surge in Chinese investment overwhelms US regulators and raises risks of fraud

MarketsAssociated Press

A surge of investments from China is overwhelming U.S. and state agencies, raising the risk of "outright investor fraud," a report Thursday says.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report looks into the EB-5 visa program, which grants green cards to foreigners who invest at least $1 million — $500,000 in high-unemployment areas. Local officials are supposed to vet the investors, but "instances of fraud and lax regulation" suggest they aren't up to the task, the report says. The U.S. issued nearly 7,000 EB-5 visas to Chinese citizens in 2013, up from 2,500 in 2011.

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The report calls for the EB-5 system to be scaled back or for the approval process to be revamped.