Virginia Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, the brother of former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, are being sued by a group of Chinese investors for allegedly running a massive cash-for-green card scam.
McAuliffe and Rodham are “facing a $17 million fraud lawsuit from Chinese investors in Greentech Automotive, an electric car company,” Politico reported.
The suit was filed last week in a Fairfax, Virginia circuit court. A group of 32 Chinese investors claim McAuliffe and Rodham “exploited” them by promising to “leverage … political connections” in order to get their immigrant visa applications “to the top of the pile, and then be approved.”
The green cards were reportedly granted as part of the U.S. government’s EB-5 visa program, which gives legal status to foreign nationals who invest a minimum of $500,000 in U.S. companies, according to The Daily Caller.
The lawsuit claims the Chinese investors were essentially pouring money into Greentech with the promise of winning permanent residency in the U.S. under the green card program.
“Plaintiffs now face the prospect of having to uproot their families once again, with the expense and stress of deportation to China looming before them,” the lawsuit says.
The suit accuses Rodham, McAuliffe, Greentech founder Charles Xiaolin Wang, and several others of running a “scam” operation.
In 2012 and 2013, the 32 Chinese investors reportedly invested $560,000 each in Greentech.
Politico previously reported that McAuliffe and Rodham visited China several times to seek investments in the electric car company.
The lawsuit claims Rodham boasted about being former President Bill Clinton’s brother-in-law and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s brother in order to encourage people to invest in the company.
“Defendants milked these connections in marketing materials,” the suit said. “Defendants exploited those relationships to assure investors of both the success of the company and their ability to obtain U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (‘USCIS’) approval of the visa applications.”
At one time, McAuliffe was the largest investor in Greentech. But in 2012, he stepped down as chairman, and then sold his shares in 2014 before becoming governor of Virginia.
The suit contends McAuliffe and Rodham “misrepresented” the total number of jobs Greentech would create. They also allegedly lied to investors, falsely telling them the company had been selected for a contract from the Defense Department.
Crystal Carson, a spokeswoman for McAuliffe, told Politico the governor was confident the lawsuit would be dismissed.
“We strongly reject this baseless suit which has no merit whatsoever,” Carson said.
“The claims, which regurgitate old political attacks regarding a company that Governor McAuliffe left five years ago, were brought by a lawyer with conservative ties,” she added.