File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Sweeping plans for the development of Jay Peak Resort, shown in a photo taken last year, in an economically depressed area of northern Vermont brought the promise of jobs to a region that has some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

$150 million settlement announced in ski resort fraud case

MONTPELIER, Vt. — 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.

The allegations against Raymond James included that an employee, at the direction of Quiros, inappropriately transferred investment funds to buy Jay Peak, failed to adequately supervise its employees and did not follow its own supervisory procedures, Scott said.

The settlement includes a $4.5 million settlement Vermont reached with Raymond James in June.

Federal receiver Michael Goldberg, of Miami, detailed how the settlement would be divided, such as:

l $67 million will go to investors in the biomedical research facility that was never built. They were “really probably the biggest victims of the fraud from the investor standpoint. They did not get their green card, and they didn’t get their money, it was stolen,” he said.

l $19.7 million will go to additional construction at the Stateside Hotel. The hotel and cottages will be finished, a recreation centre built and soccer and lacrosse fields added to help fill rooms in the summer, Goldberg said.

l $5.1 million will go to trade vendors.

Raymond James did not admit wrongdoing.

“We believe this resolution is fair and representative of our commitment to redressing the victims’ losses in this case,” said executive vice-president and general counsel Jonathan Santelli.

Just Posted

WATCH: Christmas Wish Breakfast toy donations almost double

All toys donated Sunday will be given to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau and Red Deer Salvation Army

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month