$150 million settlement announced in Jay Peak ski resort fraud case
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A year after the owner and president of a Vermont ski resort were accused by the state and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of massive fraud, a $150 million settlement has been reached with a financial institution, Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced Thursday.
The federal receiver overseeing Jay Peak ski resort said he signed a settlement agreement with Raymond James Financial Inc. that will be filed in court next week. A federal judge still must approve the settlement.
"While this does not wipe the slate clean for the individuals, businesses and communities harmed by this alleged fraud, it's very, very encouraging news," Scott said.
The money will be used to pay all 42 contractors, 513 trade creditors — which are the other unpaid businesses, nonprofits and municipalities — and 169 investors, he said.
The resort's owner, Ariel Quiros, of Miami, and former president Bill Stenger were accused of misusing $200 million raised from foreign investors through the federal EB-5 visa program, which allows permanent U.S. residency for those who finance projects that create a certain amount of jobs. Stenger has settled civil charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Quiros' lawyers have said he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.