(ABCNEWS.GO) — The FBI is investigating a former top military aide to three U.S. presidents and his firm over allegations it bilked foreign investors out of millions of dollars by touting his White House ties and making promises of quick U.S. Green Cards to raise funds for a giant hotel complex, ABC News has learned. Five years after an elaborate ground-breaking ceremony in New Orleans, there is only a vacant lot and investors say almost $16 million has disappeared.
The former aide, retired Air Force Col. Timothy Milbrath, confirmed to ABC News that he is aware of the FBI investigation but said the allegations against him and his firm “are not correct.” Investors said the FBI has recently conducted interviews, and city officials in New Orleans confirmed agents have collected boxes of documents related to the company. A spokesperson for the FBI in New Orleans declined to comment.
The investigation centers on a project set up under a controversial U.S. immigration program known as EB-5 which allows foreign investors to obtain visas, and eventually Green Cards, if they invest at least $500,000 in projects that will create American jobs. As ABC News reported in February, an internal government review found that more than 30 EB-5 projects have come under criminal investigation, including the one set up by Col. Milbrath and a business partner, called Noble Outreach.
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