The Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability has learned more about the federal EB-5 visa program that was used to draw foreign investors to the now failed Mamtek sweetener plant deal in Moberly.
EB-5 visas are given to foreign investors who provide 500 thousand dollars each to a project, and that money must be used to create 10 jobs per visa. Mamtek solicited 15 Chinese investors to make up 7.5 million of the 8 million dollars it told the state it had, in private investment.
Gene McNary is a former Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. He told the Committee he is “puzzled” by the Mamtek situation. If EB-5 visas had been applied for, the application, called an I-526, should detail where the required money is. He says it should either have been put in escrow or committed.
He encouraged the Committee to find that filing. Columbia Senator Kurt Schaefer said the body is still looking into whether any visas were actually sold, or only offered to potential investors.