Header image courtesy of Jay Peak Resort
Former Jay Peak Resort owner Ariel Quiros and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have reached a settlement in the EB-5 fraud case. Quiros has agreed to pay back $81 million and relinquish ownership of both Jay Peak Resort and Burke Mountain in Vermont.
Quiros is accused of misappropriating over $50 million of investor funds raised via a government program called EB-5. The program gives foreign backers and their families who invest a minimum of $500,000 in qualifying stateside projects a fast track to United States citizenship if the project creates a minimum of 10 jobs. The SEC said that Quiros took investor money and used it to pay personal taxes, purchase two Manhattan luxury condominiums and buy both Jay Peak Resort and Burke Mountain Resort. Investors were under the impression that the money was being used to fund construction projects at Jay Peak and a biomedical research facility in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Bill Stenger, Quiros’ business partner and former Jay Peak president, was ordered to pay a $75,000 penalty, as the government claimed that he didn’t personally profit from the ponzi scheme.
Under the proposed settlement the properties—both Jay and Burke—will be turned over to the court-appointed receiver, Michael Goldberg, with the intent to sell and benefit the harmed investors.
“As a result of the SEC’s action, a court-appointed receiver has successfully turned around the resort’s finances, and the case will result in hundreds of investors receiving significant portions and, in some cases, all of their investments returned to them,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, in a statement.
In addition to the bit of justice served, Jay Peak is reporting 47 inches of new snow in the past seven days, while Burke is reporting 27 inches, and the skiing is downright phenomenal.