Jay Peak's Quiros will not fight SEC fraud charges

Jay Peak's Quiros will not fight SEC fraud charges

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Michael Goldberg explains a settlement with the financial firm Raymond James which will pay contractors and investors owed money in the Jay Peak and Burke Mountain EB-5 projects at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Thursday, April 13, 2017. 

A ski resort owner accused last year of massive fraud involving foreign investors' money will not contest the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges against him.

A lawyer for Ariel Quiros, the owner of the Jay Peak Resort, said Tuesday that Quiros is not admitting nor denying anything and now will only litigate damages.

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Ariel Quiros in 2013

"As far as Mr. Quiros is concerned he's interested in resolving everything," attorney Melissa Visconti said.

Quiros and the then-president of Jay Peak, William Stenger, were accused last year by the SEC and by Vermont of misusing more than $200 million raised from foreign investors through the EB-5 visa program for developments at or near the ski resort.

Stenger has settled with the SEC.

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Bill Stenger, seen here on Main Street in downtown Newport in 2015, reached a settlement with the SEC. 

Under the EB-5 program, foreign investors have the opportunity to receive green cards by investing $500,000 in projects in economically depressed regions of the United States that create a certain number of jobs.

Quiros, of Miami, has agreed to not participate in any EB-5 offerings and to not act as an officer or director of any entity regulated by the SEC, as part of his agreement with the SEC. A mediation session between the SEC and Quiros was planned for December but could be moved up to the fall, Visconti said.

"We are committed to working with the SEC and all involved to reach an amicable resolution of the remaining issues," she said.

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Then-Attorney General William Sorrell speaks during a news conference in Montpelier on Thursday, April 14, 2016, after the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Ariel Quiros, owner of the Jay Peak resort and Bill Stenger, president and CEO of Jay Peak, misused more than $200 million of EB-5 immigrant investor funds. He is seen with a chart that purports to show how Stenger and Quiros allegedly diverted funds. 

The SEC declined to comment on the case.

The news came a day after Republican Gov. Phil Scott released documents showing that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services intends to close Vermont's immigrant investor regional center following the allegations of fraud at Jay Peak. The USCIS said the center no longer serves the purpose of promoting economic growth by failing to properly manage, monitor and oversee EB-5 projects.

Vermont also has a civil case against Quiros and Stenger.

"The state of Vermont will certainly find opportunities to get involved in the federal proceedings to ensure that the judge is aware of just how great of an impact the defendant's behavior had on our state and making the case that the monetary penalties and the disgorgement should be high," state Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak said.



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