Feds freezes assets of McAllen company selling investor visas

A federal judge has ordered the assets of a South Texas company that recruits foreigners seeking U.S. visas in exchange for $500,000 job-creating investments be frozen at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The order Monday effectively halted the operations of USA Now Regional Center in McAllen.

Search warrants made public in July indicated the FBI had been investigating the company since at least early 2012 on suspicion of wire fraud and money laundering.

An SEC complaint filed this week says the company fraudulently sold securities to investors.

USA Now is among hundreds of private businesses designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to recruit foreign investors to the "EB-5" visa program.

A lawyer representing the company did not immediately return a call for comment.