UPDATE (October 7th): What happened to the missing $46 million? The Securities & Exchange Commission (and the Puget Sound Business Journal) want to know.
Remember this guy, Labsong Dargey, onetime Tibetan monk? He got Mayor Murray and TV star Tom Skerritt to show up at the groundbreaking for his $190 million, 41-story hotel-and-apartment tower in Belltown. Dozens of foreign investors had paid half a million apiece for a slice of the action, in a program that gave them and their families a coveted EB-5 Green Card in exchange for the cash, which was ostensibly used to "create jobs" in economically depressed areas (like, ahem, Belltown).
Side note: Congress is supposed to renew this cockamamie scheme (that's the only term that makes sense) before the end of the month, assuming they get their act together.
But Dargey has been under SEC investigation for the past month for defrauding investors, and not just in Seattle. Up in Everett, local prosecutors are also looking into financial irregularities. The FBI, among other entities, is wondering what's going on, and have shut down construction on the Seattle and Everett projects.
Nothing to see here, Dargey's people contend. Everything's above board. "These projects are real. This is definitely not a Ponzi scheme and it is not alleged to be," Dargeys lawyers say.