We received this press release from the offices of Lobsang Dargey’s attorneys at Foster Pepper. What he have not found out yet is what the terms of the plea deal were.
Media Contact: Robert S. Mahler
firstname.lastname@example.org (206) 447-6402
Lobsang Dargey Reaches Settlement in Criminal Investigation
Seattle area real estate developer acknowledges misrepresentations to USCIS about the use of investors’ capital and aggressively pursues avenues to remedy investors’ economic loss
January 4, 2017 – SEATTLE – Robert S. Mahler, attorney for Lobsang Dargey, announced today that Dargey reached a settlement with the United States Attorney’s Office in Seattle for offenses relating to alleged fraudulent representations regarding the use of Chinese investors’ funds in his commercial real estate development projects in Everett and Seattle.
Under the terms of the settlement, Dargey pleaded guilty to one count of concealing material information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Under the terms of the settlement, Dargey faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The agreement carries no minimum sentence and the actual sentence Dargey receives will be in the discretion of the judge.
Dargey has also agreed to pay restitution in the sum of $24,242,220. The restitution award, however, will be offset by sums the investors receive as a result of their investments in the two projects and refunds of other fees that have already been obtained.
Mahler stated that he expects the investors to obtain the full economic benefits of their investments in the two projects.
“Mr. Dargey recognizes that misrepresentations were made to investors and USCIS. He very much regrets that his conduct could have resulted in harm to anyone and has made extraordinary voluntary efforts to insure, to the extent humanly possible, that every single investor obtains both the economic and immigration benefits of their investments,” said Bob Mahler, Dargey’s counsel.
Mahler pointed out that Dargey sold his interest in the downtown Seattle tower project for $30 million and contributed virtually all of the sale proceeds ($28.2 million) back to the project in order to help preserve the investors’ economic and immigration benefits of their investments.
Dargey recently proposed to do a similar sales arrangement with respect to his other development project, the almost-completed and successful Everett Farmer’s Market complex.
Dargey’s Everett project, which consists of a hotel, apartment complex, and a year-round farmer’s market is nearly complete. The hotel and apartment complexes are finished and the project has a positive cash flow. All that remains to be completed in the project is the leasing and some tenant improvements to the retail space.
An independent economic analysis of the Everett project conducted at the request of the court-appointed receiver overseeing the Dargey enterprises showed that Dargey’s development of the project resulted in the creation of 1,540 new U.S. jobs and produced labor income of over $180 million to the regional economy. In addition, nearly all the EB-5 investors received conditional immigration approval from USCIS.
The downtown Seattle tower project, which is a 40-story mixed use high rise that will contain a luxury hotel, residences, and a restaurant, is currently under construction.
An economic analysis of the projected benefits of the tower project showed the project is anticipated to create 5,068 new U.S. jobs and add over $328 million in household earnings to the regional economy.
Dargey, 43, was born in a remote region of eastern Tibet. He was ordained as a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition before emigrating to the U.S. Dargey later ventured into commercial real estate starting the first of three successful commercial building projects in downtown Everett in 2006. Dargey is married with three young children.