The former director of business development at VEDP seemed to think so. Via Jim Geraghty, we get this:
In an e-mail dated November 17, 2009, Liz Povar, then the director of business development at VEDP, wrote to her colleagues:
Sandi et al. Even if the company has investors “lined up”, I maintain serious concerns about the establishment of an EB-5 center in general, and most specifically based on this company. Not only based on (lack of) management expertise, (lack of) market preparation, etc. but also still can’t get my head around this being anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications that we have no way to confirm or discount. . . .
This “feels” like a national political play instead of a Virginia economic development opportunity. I am not willing to stake Virginia’s reputation on this at this juncture.
And as we all know, Virginia passed on the deal.
The more we learn, the worse it gets. Look for McAuliffe & Co. to try to change the subject to just about anything else as soon as possible.