Trump lawyer’s help seems to have boosted Florida immigration firm: report
President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen appears to have helped a Florida immigration firm earn millions after it reached out to Cohen last year, The Associated Press reported.
The immigration firm U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF), owned by Nicholas Mastroianni II, was threatened by a regulatory crackdown on the federal EB-5 program that gives foreigners permanent residency if they invest in certain U.S. real estate ventures, according to the AP.
The owner reached out to Cohen and the lawyer connected Mastroianni with a lobbying firm that paid Cohen for referrals.
While it is not clear what the lobbying firm did, the crackdown on the visa program fell apart soon after, according to the report.
The end of the crackdown left USIF, the most successful visa broker operation in the U.S., to make millions in fees by acting as middlemen connecting U.S. companies to visa-seeking investors abroad. The firm says it has raised $3 billion for projects using the EB-5 program since 2010.
However, the proposed crackdown on the EB-5 program would have limited the program to struggling communities, which would not have been useful for USIF’s business.
At the time of the proposed crackdown, Mastroianni was in the middle of raising at least $700 million for several buildings in the New York City area, the AP reported.
Mastroianni has been connected to Trump associates before.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn reportedly investigated the real estate firm once ran by Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner after an abandoned plan that would have seen USIF raise $150 million in China for Kushner’s business, the AP reported.