John Tishler: SEC Rule 10b-5 is what I’d call the primary rule of liability we’re concerned about in EB5 offerings or EB5 projects. It applies to any offering of securities that has any jurisdictional nexus to the United States. Jurisdictional nexus simply means that some mode of interstate commerce was used: the telephone, an email, postal delivery. I think it is impossible to imagine an EB5 transaction taking place that did not somehow avail itself of the means of interstate commerce in the United States.
In any event, 10b-5 is going to apply and what it says is that it’s unlawful for any person in connection with the offer or sale of securities to omit or misstate a material fact or to state a fact that, in the context in which it is stated, is misleading and that’s considered to be a fraud. When people talk about securities fraud, Rule 10b-5 is what they’re referring to.
In terms of the commonly used word “fraud” and the common sense understanding of it, lets discuss what it means to commit fraud. The standard for securities fraud is quite a bit lower than the common sense understanding of fraud.
Fraud also includes an intent to omit a fact or to state a fact that wasn’t complete in its context. Rule 10b-5 has what’s called a “scienter requirement” in relation to the omission of facts from which means there has to have been intent.