By Eric Jay Toll
The PhoenixMart headquarters was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Thursday morning in northeast Phoenix.
FBI agents swarmed the building at 7 this morning in what those close to the investigation said was a look into possible securities and investor fraud at the company.
Agents at the headquarters, 7047 E. Greenway Parkway, were not allowed to speak on the raid. An FBI spokesman said the bureau could confirm the raid was ongoing, but could not make a further comment at this time.
PhoenixMart is funded by EB-5 investments — those allowed from foreign entities, in this case mostly Chinese investors. The $500,000 buy-in generated conditional visas allowing U.S. residency by the investor and extended family.
According to a former PhoenixMart executive, speaking on background because he is cooperating with federal officials, some investors had purchased homes in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale and are now facing deportation for violating visa conditions.
Elizabeth Mann is the company's CEO and could not be reached immediately for comment. QuinQuin Quayle, daughter-in-law of former vice-president Dan Quayle, was until recently Mann's chief of staff and was unavailable for comment at the time this story was posted.
Casa Grande officials were unavailable for comment. The multi-million-square-foot mixed-use project was to have been a major economic boon for the Pinal County community. More than 500 acres were committed to the project, along with significant public improvements.