Tenney Mt. courting foreign investors lawsuit reveals

Tenney Mt. courting foreign investors lawsuit reveals

EB-5 Visa, EB5 Visa, EB-5 Investment

A Center Harbor man who won court approval to record a $375,000 attachment against the real estate of his former employer, is now facing some new accusations leveled by his one-time boss.

In a lawsuit filed in Belknap County Superior Court on March 29, Keith Fitzgerald claims he was hired by Tenney Mountain Development Group LLC, to act as chief operating officer and oversee a major redevelopment and expansion of the shuttered ski area.

During the course of that work, Fitzgerald claims, he supplied certain goods, services and equipment. The understanding between the parties, the suit asserts, was that the supplied items were to be incorporated into the project, and that Fitzgerald was to compensated for their use.

But Michael Bouchard, who identifies himself in recent court filings as the president and owner of TMDG, claims Fitzgerald agreed to use his company Golden Gate Investment Advisers LLC to secure EB-5 funding and make TMDG a Regional Center for all other EB-5 activities.

In 1992, Congress approved a pilot program designed to stimulate the economy and job growth by giving foreign nationals the chance to become permanent legal residents if they invested at least $500,000 in a high employment or rural area. Under the terms of the EB-4 visa program, the investment had to create or preserve at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers, not including the investor or their immediate family.

Bouchard who is not named as a defendant in Fitzgerald’s suit, further alleges in a counterclaim filed May 20, that his one-time employee led him down the garden path.

Bouchard alleges that Fitzgerald “misrepresented numerous material facts” including his qualifications, experience and expertise, his business and resources, his business associates and his assets among other things.

“The plaintiff falsely told the defendant he was a “trust fund child” and that he had access to a circle of friends with deep pockets and that he owned a large amount of property, approximately 300 acres in Center Harbor and that he owned a helicopter that the defendant could use in his operations,” wrote Attorney James Laura of the McGrath law firm of Concord who represents Bouchard and TMDG.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has previously charged Fitzgerald, 50, with five counts of theft by unauthorized taking and one count of receiving stolen property in connection with his alleged handling of his late father’s assets. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail. The criminal case is currently on track to go to trial in Oct.

According to Bouchard’s court filings, Fitzgerald requested a deposit of $58,333.33 to start work on securing EB-5 financing and making TMDG a Regional Center. In May and June of 2015, Bouchard asserts he made two payments to Fitzgerald totaling $30,000 made “in good faith to get the ball rolling and receive a few deliverables while the contract was being prepared to address what was truly needed to complete the task of becoming a Regional Center.”

Bouchard further claims in court filings that Fitzgerald contacted lawyers that Bouchard had retained to draft the needed EB-5 funding documents, requested they return their paid retainers and kept the money for his own use and further that Fitzgerald defamed TMDG via social media.

Bouchard is also seeking what amounts to a gag order against Fitzgerald, asking the court to grant an injunction halting Fitzgerald from making “any defamatory, derogatory, libelous and or slanderous comments or remarks regarding TMDG or Bouchard by any and all means,” and to further bar Fitzgerald from entering the Plymouth property.

Last month, Judge James D. O’Neill III approved Fitzgerald’s requested attachment against the ski area’s real estate in Plymouth, and ruled that TMDG was in default as no one had filed a response to the suit.

Bouchard has asked the court to vacate the default, asserting that notice of the suit was delivered to his Windham address which he infrequently visits, instead of at Tenney Mountain, where he spends the bulk of his time.

Attorney Robert Hunt of Franklin, who now represents Fitzgerald, has objected to Bouchard’s request to have the default cleared and the case returned to the court docket arguing that a deputy sheriff delivered notice of the suit to the Windham address Bouchard has on file with the Secretary of State as the registered agent for TMDG.

Fitzgerald has additionally challenged whether Bouchard has authority to act on behalf of TMDG. According to a copy of the operating agreement filed with the court, Fitzgerald maintains that Bouchard is not identified as president or as being vested with 100 percent ownership and control of TMDG.

“The plaintiff has additional reason to believe that Mr. Bouchard has had a falling out with the 90 percent (stock) holder and does not have authority to act on behalf of the defendant in this suit,” reads Attorney Hunt’s objection.

A hearing is set for June 23, at 9 a.m. on Bouchard’s request to lift the default and return the case to the court’s docket.



  • New Hampshire

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