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Five projects funded by the EB-5 visa program

Water park at Jay Peak Resort in VermontWater park at Jay Peak Resort in Vermont
Water park at Jay Peak Resort in VermontPhoto courtesy of Jay Peak Resort

Jay Peak

Water park at Jay Peak Resort in Vermont

Seen as the signature EB-5 success, this Vermont ski resort turned a remote spot into a year- round destination, with swank lodging, golf course, and indoor water park. Early investors have gotten green cards, but after six years they’ve yet to get their $500,000 back. Owner Bill Stenger says full payment is five years away.

Norton AFB

Entrepreneur Pat Hogan built a booming Eb-5 business retrofitting former military bases in California. He helped turn Norton into a distribution center. A Hogan regional center disclosed this year that it received an SEC subpoena in 2012, part of what it called a broad “fact-finding inquiry” into the industry.

NYLO Dallas

Rooftop pool at NYLO Hotel in Dallas

Some $5.5 million from 11 investors turned a former coffin factory south of downtown Dallas, where traditional capital feared to tread, into a chic boutique hotel

Greentech Automotive

Bill Clinton speaks during the unveiling of GreenTech’s new electric MyCar at their manufacturing facility in Horn Lake, Miss.

Despite well-connected principals—former Democratic party chief Terry McAuliffe (who left the project and is now governor of Virginia) and Hillary Clinton brother Anthony Rodham—this highly touted but much delayed project to build an electric-minicar plant in Mississippi has so far produced no cars and few jobs, despite $46 million in Eb-5 cash.

Northern Beef Packers

Northern Beef Packers processing plant in Aberdeen, S.D.,

A 2006 plan to build a South Dakota meatpacking plant tapped a reported $60 million in Asian cash before turning into a gothic horror: The business quickly went bust, and a former state official involved in the project committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. Investigations and lawsuits drag on.

This story is from the August 11, 2014 issue of Fortune.