Though no formal USCIS statement has been made, recent I-924 regional center approvals received by our office indicate that USCIS has appointed a new head of the EB-5 Program Office—Nicholas Colucci. Most recently, Mr. Colucci served as the associate director of the Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Analysis and Liaison Division. In this position, Mr. Colucci was responsible for overseeing major activities at FinCEN, which included working with law enforcement to produce data and insight on financial crimes.
The Analysis and Liaison Division of FinCEN is responsible for taking data from financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act and combining it with other publicly available data to produce analytical evidence. This analytical evidence is then used by federal, state and local law enforcement in investigations of a financial nature. FinCEN, as a whole, is generally responsible for increasing transparency in the U.S. financial system in order to detect money laundering, terrorist financing and other economic crimes. FinCEN is responsible for overseeing terrorist financing provisions of the Patriot Act.
Mr. Colucci has spent over 20 years in the service of the federal government. Before his position with FinCEN, Mr. Colucci worked in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Mr. Colucci spent a number of years with ATF, holding positions such as assistant director in the Office of Public and Government Affairs, chief of field management staff, deputy division chief of the Firearms Programs Division, director of industry operations, area supervisor, firearms specialist and industry operations investigator. Mr. Colucci received his undergraduate education from Long Island University and a Master of Business Administration, finance and information technology from Loyola College in Maryland.
The appointment of an individual with a background in financial crimes and investigations to head the EB-5 program may signal a shift in policy by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in how it administers the EB-5 program. Mr. Colucci’s experience appears to give an indication that USCIS will pay renewed attention to the sources of an EB-5 investor’s funds. Additionally, Mr. Colucci’s experience should aid the EB-5 program in reviewing I-829 petitions, where an EB-5 investor must document the deployment of their investment funds.