The receiver in charge of Path America’s assets has filed paperwork in federal court advising that three of the company’s four incomplete properties should be sold off as soon as possible.
Path America, an Everett-based company which does business allowing foreign investors to fast-track immigration procedures through the EB-5 immigrant program, remains under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has filed a civil suit against Bellevue resident and former CEO of Path America Lobsang Dargey and his multiple companies in August over fraud allegations.
Dargey has denied the charges, as has Path America, but a court put the company in receivership in October 2015. The FBI has been investigating.
Internal problems with bookkeeping led the receiver, Michael Grassmueck of the Portland-based Grassmueck Group, to advise selling off extant developments in an initial recovery plan for the company.
“After evaluating the projects both on an individual and collective basis, the Reciever has concluded that three of the four projects should be sold in orderly public or private sale,” he wrote in the document. “With regard to the fourth project, the Recciver proposes to complete the construction of the facility and then sell the project in a fully stabilized condition.”
The four projects include the Potala Tower, the Potala Place and Everett Farmer’s Market complex, Potala Shoreline and Potala Village Kirkland.
Grassmueck asked for approval of the sale of Potala Tower first and possibly soon. The planned 40-story skyscraper in downtown Seattle has construction halted when the SEC filed its suit, leaving a 60-foot deep hole on 4th Avenue.
He plans to ask for approval of the sale of Potala Shoreline and Potala Kirkland in the coming months. Work never started on those. Potala Place and Everett Farmer’s Market is near completion, and Grassmueck will wait until shops there are complete and leased out before asking to sell it.
The SEC alleges that Dargey, 42, misappropriated as much as $46 million of foreign investors’ money. Hundreds of (mostly Chinese) foreign investors invested more than $100 million in various projects.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has pulled support from two of the projects, but Grassmueck is attempting to work to keep those investors on the path to citizenship.
“While the USCIS has served a Notice of Intent to Terminate the Regional Centers for both the Tower and the Market, the receiver is proceeding with plans for each project which allow for the possibility that the EB-5 investors may continue to pursue their non-monetary goals.”
Whether that will happen remains unkown.