Pri­vacy No­tice

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con­struc­tion in Jersey City, through the EB-5 pro­gram. That’s ac­cord­ing to a slide pre­sen­ta­tion by U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion Fund, a pri­vate com­pany hired to court in­vestors for the pro­ject. The loans cover about a quar­ter of the pro­ject’s to­tal cost. Mark Giresi, the com­pany’s gen­eral coun­sel, says nearly all of the EB-5 in­vestors in Trump Bay Street are from China. A pro­mo­tional video mim­ick­ing the open­ing cred­its of The So­pra­nos was subti­tled in Chi­nese.

“This was a highly suc­cess­ful li­cense deal but he is not a part­ner in the fi­nanc­ing of the de­vel­op­ment,” a Trump spokes­woman said in an e-mail. Kush­ner spokes­woman Risa Heller says: “The money was raised law­fully by the U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion Fund con­sis­tent with all the re­quire­ments of EB-5. This pro­gram en­abled a de­vel­op­ment that cre­ated hun­dreds of new jobs in an area with em­ploy­ment needs.”

The visa pro­gram, which Congress cre­ated in 1990, was in­tended to re­vive eco­nom­i­cally dis­tressed ar­eas. In ex­change for in­vest­ing at least $500,000 in a pro­ject that prom­ises to cre­ate jobs for Amer­i­can work­ers, for­eign­ers re­ceive a two-year visa and are of­ten even­tu­ally granted per­ma­nent res­i­dency. In 2014, the most re­cent year for which records are avail­able, the U.S. is­sued 10,692 of th­ese visas— 85 per­cent to Chi­nese in­vestors.

Con­gres­sional over­seers and the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity have raised con­cerns. The Govern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice, the in­ves­tiga­tive branch of Congress, said last year in a re­port about the EB-5 pro­gram that “the sources of funds in many of th­ese pe­ti­tions con­tained a high risk of fraud.” Some ap­pli­cants had sub­mit­ted coun­ter­feit doc­u­men­ta­tion to cover the il­licit sources of their cash. Depart­ment of State of­fi­cials told the GAO there is “no re­li­able method to ver­ify the source of the funds of pe­ti­tion­ers.” Last spring a Home­land Se­cu­rity spe­cial agent tes­ti­fied at a U.S. Se­nate hear­ing that EB-5 ap­pli­cants from China, Malaysia, Pak­istan, and Rus­sia “had been ap­proved in as lit­tle as 16 days, with files lack­ing ba­sic law en­force­ment queries.”

A re­port last year by the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity’s in­spec­tor gen­eral found po­lit­i­cally con­nected par­tic­i­pants may have re­ceived fa­vor­able treat­ment. The re­port cited projects in­volv­ing Demo­cratic Vir­ginia Gov­er­nor Terry Mcauliffe and Hil­lary Clin­ton’s brother, Tony Rod­ham. A spokesman for Mcauliffe says the re­port demon­strates that he asked Home­land Se­cu­rity “to ful­fill its obli­ga­tion to ad­ju­di­cate the ap­pli­ca­tions that were be­fore them in a timely fash­ion.” Rod­ham said in a phone in­ter­view that he did noth­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

The EB-5 pro­gram has of­ten been used as a source of fi­nanc­ing for high­pro­file de­vel­op­ments in pros­per­ous neigh­bor­hoods, such as Brook­lyn’s Bar­clays Cen­ter and Man­hat­tan’s Hud­son Yards. De­vel­op­ers draw maps to sup­port their claims that a pro­ject will ben­e­fit a dis­tressed area. (Trump Bay Street is in Jersey City’s rapidly gen­tri­fy­ing Pow­er­house Arts District.) “To un­der­stand how the pro­gram works and whether it is do­ing what it was in­tended to do, which is cre­ate jobs in lo­cal ar­eas—it’s not re­ally pos­si­ble,” says Au­drey Singer, a Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion fel­low.

Trump has made im­mi­gra­tion a cen­ter­piece of his cam­paign. He says on his web­site that he wants to elim­i­nate what he calls “ram­pant, wide­spread” abuse of tem­po­rary visas for skilled work­ers and is com­mit­ted to “in­sti­tute an ab­so­lute re­quire­ment to hire Amer­i­can work­ers first for ev­ery visa and im­mi­gra­tion pro­gram.” In Fe­bru­ary, Trump ac­knowl­edged us­ing tem­po­rary visas to hire work­ers at his Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., fol­low­ing re­ports in Reuters and the New York Times.

When it opens this sum­mer, Trump Bay Street will have an out­door pool, an in­door golf sim­u­la­tor, and sweep­ing views of Lower Man­hat­tan. It ad­joins

mil­lion Fi­nanc­ing for Trump Bay Street from for­eign in­vestors through the EB-5

visa pro­gram

an ex­ist­ing high-rise condo tower, Trump Plaza Res­i­dences. The firm that re­cruited in­vestors, U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion Fund, is run by Florida de­vel­oper Ni­cholas Mas­troianni, who an­nounced a part­ner­ship last year with a Trump golf course in Jupiter, Fla. Giresi, the com­pany’s gen­eral coun­sel, says pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors looked into the back­ground of prospec­tive Jersey City in­vestors. He adds that his firm uses “very strin­gent com­pli­ance pro­grams” with a “great amount of due dili­gence.” �Jesse Drucker

The bot­tom line A Trump apart­ment tower is be­ing built with $50 mil­lion from Chi­nese in­vestors through a con­tro­ver­sial visa pro­gram.

Aus­tralia’s most ag­gres­sive on­line re­tailer got its start with an im­pulse buy. A decade ago, Rus­lan Ko­gan was liv­ing in Mel­bourne, fresh out of school and do­ing con­sult­ing work for Ac­cen­ture. At night, he made ex­tra cash sell­ing im­ported T-shirts and wal­lets on Ebay. He de­cided to lay out some of his sav­ings on a high-end, $5,000 TV but didn’t want to pay full price.

On a whim, Ko­gan con­tacted the brand’s lit­tle-known Asian man­u­fac­turer. He posed as a re­tailer, claim­ing he’d be in­ter­ested in buy­ing 100,000 TVS if the com­pany would send him a sam­ple unit for cheap. The TV maker made him a way bet­ter of­fer: all 100,000 for $1,000 a pop. “In that mo­ment, I thought, There is a real gap in the mar­ket here,” Ko­gan re­calls. “I quit my job, and my mum cried be­cause I was go­ing to be­come a TV sales­man.”

It proved to be a good bet. Ko­gan couldn’t af­ford to pay for 100,000 TVS, but he per­suaded the man­u­fac­turer to sell him 1,000 at a deep dis­count. They were the first items he branded with his name and sold on his web­site, Ko­gan.com, now one of Aus­tralia’s fastest- grow­ing busi­nesses. The site makes most of its money sell­ing Ko­gan-branded elec­tron­ics and other pri­vate-la­bel gear. Five years ago it moved $14 mil­lion in goods; Ko­gan es­ti­mates this year’s to­tal will top $356 mil­lion.

Ko­gan, now 33, was one of the first in Aus­tralia to mas­ter on­line retail. That’s partly be­cause the coun­try’s tra­di­tional re­tail­ers, such as Har­vey Nor­man, were slow to em­brace the In­ter­net and build easy-to-nav­i­gate web­sites, says Steven Noble, se­nior an­a­lyst at Aus­tralian re­searcher Tel­syte. “Rus­lan was one of the first peo­ple to form di­rect re­la­tion­ships with the man­u­fac­tur­ers in China,” Noble says. “He got there early and be­came a big player.”

Ko­gan holds 80 per­cent of his pri­vate com­pany and has a net worth north of $250 mil­lion, rank­ing him among Aus­tralia’s wealth­i­est young en­trepreneurs. A fan of fast, gad­get-filled cars and yachts, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer has be­come the coun­try’s reign­ing In­ter­net play­boy. And he isn’t shy about pick­ing fights with ri­vals or politi­cians.

Born in Be­larus, Ko­gan and his sis­ter, Svet­lana, moved with their par­ents to Aus­tralia when Rus­lan was 6 and grew up in the hous­ing projects of a Mel­bourne sub­urb. He didn’t speak much English when he ar­rived and went to school with ox tongue packed in his lunch­box. “I would never have clas­si­fied it as dif­fi­cult at the time, but we were teased quite a lot,” he says. “We had acorns thrown at us and were just that lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent.”

But the cul­ture of Aus­tralia made

Busted! How Ama­zon tries to de­ter on-the­job theft

Mas­sage apps get the kinks out and raise mil­lions In a cold startup cli­mate, ven­ture in­vestors pull back

In­no­va­tion: A fab­ric that vents when you sweat

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