Two familiar Democratic names tied to possible immigration scam

This could get very interesting very quickly. There has been some recurrent talk about a possible 2020 run by former Virginia Governor and long time Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe. But if a recently filed lawsuit gains any sort of traction, trouble may be coming for both families.

The Daily Caller picked up the story of a group of Chinese investors who are suing both McCauliffe and Tony Rodham, brother of Hillary, claiming that they were defrauded in an immigration scam involving a company McAuliffe founded nearly a decade ago. Chinese investors hoping to benefit from the EB-5 visa program dumped more than a half million dollars each into the firm with the expectation that there would be green cards available for them in short order. Now, with the company on the rocks and their immigration status in peril, they feel that they’ve been ripped off.

A group of Chinese investors is suing Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the brother of Hillary Clinton, saying they were defrauded of $17 million in a cash-for-green card “scam.”

The investors filed suit in Fairfax Co., Va. circuit court last week, Politico first reported.

The suit alleges that McAuliffe and Clinton’s youngest brother, Anthony Rodham, “exploited” the 32 investors by promising to “leverage…political connections” to ensure that their visa applications “will get to the top of the pile, and then be approved.”

The green cards were to be granted as part of the federal government’s EB-5 visa program. The program grants legal immigration status to foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in American companies. Companies must meet certain criteria regarding job creation in order for their investors to qualify for immigration benefits.

It all has to do with GreenTech, which McAuliffe helped found in 2009. At the time he was quoted as saying, “If you have good green projects, there are billions of dollars that are looking for those projects.” He wasn’t kidding. Plenty of federal money flooded into GreenTech and many friendly arrangements were made with people looking to invest, raising plenty of questions about what favors were being done for who.

How Hillary Clinton’s brother got involved is a bit more complicated, but it happened early. Going back a couple of years, Politico was already looking at the connections between Rodham and McCauliffe involving Chinese investment firms in 2015. Rodham was apparently using his contacts to attract investors and making arrangements for them to get what they needed in return.

The lawsuit may or may not succeed on the merits, but it certainly highlights a couple of different problems. First of all, do we have any of these “special” immigration programs which allow certain favored individuals to get head of the line privileges that haven’t wound up mired in scandals? Such deals provide a powerful incentive for people looking to get into the country, and when non-government actors are put in charge of making the arrangements it’s an obvious temptation that opens the door to potential corruption.

Further, the entire green energy industry being heavily subsidized and financed with taxpayer money has led to nothing but problems. McAuliffe was right on the button when he identified the idea that starting up a green technology firm was a great way to attract huge piles of cash. And once again, where large sums of money accumulate, opportunistic individuals will never be far behind.

In the case of GreenTech, we saw both of those worlds intersecting. Chinese investors looking for green cards saw a way to pay the piper in a green technology firm, meeting the requirements to qualify for the program. Were they “ripped off” or is that just the way the capitalist cookie crumbles? The lawsuit may answer that question eventually.