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Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2016 3:46 pm
Vermont reaches $5.9M settlement in ski resort probe Associated Press |
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont financial regulators said Thursday they have reached a $5.95 million settlement with a financial firm related to the fraud investigation of real estate developments at two northern Vermont ski resorts.
The Department of Financial Regulation said it found Raymond James and Associates' Miami branch failed to comply numerous times with supervisory requirements and Vermont law.
The department specifically cited Miami businessman Ariel Quiros, owner of Burke Mountain and Jay Peak ski resorts, and Bill Stenger, Jay Peak's president, and their use of accounts at Raymond James to transfer funds among investors, limited partnerships and other entities.
Quiros and Stenger are accused by Vermont and the Securities and Exchange Commission of misusing about $200 million from foreign investors through a special visa program. The EB-5 program allows permanent U.S. residency for those who finance projects that create a certain amount of jobs.
Both men have said they'll be cleared of any wrongdoing.
Raymond James said in a statement it was pleased a settlement has been reached.
The department said that under the settlement agreement, $4.5 million will go to the federal receiver overseeing the resorts and projects to reimburse possible claims by investors. Another $1.25 million will go to Vermont's general fund as an administrative penalty and $200,000 will be paid to state financial regulation for the investigation, the department said.
"Since the SEC's seizure of the Jay Peak-related EB-5 projects, investors have been rightly concerned about possible recovery of funds. This settlement contributes to their restitution," department commissioner Susan Donegan said.
Hmmm Mr. Stenger is still getting $100,000 a year salary, Jay Condo and car expenses. So don't be surprised if you see him around this season.
Edit 9/4: I'm a day late and a dollar short again. I guess you won't be seeing Bill around.
Again, if someone like you or me walks into a gas station and takes $200 out of the cash register, we get a felony conviction, we're sent to jail, we are denied the right to vote, and finding future employment has become a LOT more difficult so that when we do get released, we're 90% more likely to commit another crime. When a wealthy investor steals $200 million from investors, he gets to walk away just as long as he can pay some of it back and agrees to never work on this type of investment again...
Yes, I understand that Bill Stenger is a likable guy and he's done some good things for the Northeast Kingdom. But that doesn't change the fact that he committed a crime and likely did terrible harm to those who trusted him. $200 million is a LOT of money, not to mention the enormous expense the state just went through to sort out all this mess in Court. Now Mr. Stenger gets to walk away without "admitting to any wrongdoing" (translation - anybody who wants to sue him for ruining their lives will have to start a new lawsuit at their own expense), the "big hole" in the middle of Newtown won't be going anywhere, and the status of the EB-5 investors remains unresolved.
I'm sorry, this doesn't sound like Justice to me. To me, it's just another example of our two-tiered injustice system
obienick said: They have yet to file a criminal complaint.
They have yet to file a criminal complaint.
ropeways.net | Home | 2016-09-13
I cut the EB-5 stuff (paragraphs here and there) out of thelong article to get it to fit 2.0 I’m amazed that they made so much. Assuggested, skiers were more interested in terrain than EB-5 woes.
JAY PEAK PROFITSRISE TO OVER $9 MILLION, OFFICIALS REPORT
APR.30, 2017, 5:50 PM BY ALAN J. KEAYS 4 COMMENTS
Jay Peak Resort is reportinga big bounce-back year, buoyed by increased snowfall and the shedding of costsassociated with operating an EB-5 immigrant investment program that led to fraudcharges against the past operators.
It’sdifficult to make a comparison to the preceding fiscal year because of thestate of the financial books when the property was placed in receivership amidfraud allegations against owner Ariel Quiros, say officials now running theoperation.
However,they estimate that profits quadrupled in the fiscal year just ending, comparedwith the previous one, from $1.8 million to more than $9 million.
Olsonestimated that revenue at Jay Peak rose from about $35 million to more than $50million, with books expected to close on the resort’s fiscal year at the end ofApril.
Hecredited everyone from resort staff and leaders to officials with thereceivership with helping to create the turnaround, terming it a “team effort.”
Theresort reported receiving 491 inches of snowfall this ski season, double the 206inches from the previous one.
“Earlyseason snow help a lot,” said Steven Wright, Jay Peak’s general manager. “Wewere all expecting a slow start due to the receivership, people not wanting tocommit money to us because of the status.”
However,skiers seemed more interested in terrain conditions than EB-5 turmoil.
“Thepeople who come here are a different breed,” Wright said. “We asked folks tostick with us and they did.”
Compoundingthe cash flow woes, the aerial tram was in need of $4.9 million in repairs. Afix made last year allowed it to open for this ski season, with more work nowunderway. The tram closed in early April for those repairs and is expected toreopen in June.
At Burke,the resort is projected to lose a little under $2 million this season, thoughOlson said that facility operates on a different fiscal year than Jay Peak.Burke’s year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, while Jay runs May 1 to April 30.
BothGoldberg and Olson said the expected loss is less than what was projected,which had been estimated at more than $4 million after the takeover.
At thattime, financial controls were found to be lacking and senior management wasdismissed, The resort’s operation was reorganized, with some office functions,such as accounting, consolidated at Jay Peak.
Severalfactors should also bring more people to the mountain, Goldberg said, includinga new ski lift going in this summer, improved relations with Burke MountainAcademy, an elite ski school, and the resort’s designation in December as atraining site for the U.S. Ski Team, Goldberg said.
Theincreased snowfall this season, coupled with investments in snowmaking, helpedboost the resort’s bottom line, providing an extended ski season that ended inearly April.
Receiver: Buyers interested in ski resort properties
Originally publishedFebruary 16, 2018 at 9:59 am
The Associated Press
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A federally appointed receiver saysthere’s “plenty of interest” in a Vermont ski area rocked by investment fraud.
The Caledonian-Record reports receiver Michael Goldberg saidThursday he is beginning the process to sell Jay Peak and Burke Mountain.Goldberg says he’s not sure how much the resorts will sell for. The profits ofthe sales will benefit defrauded investors.
A judge recently approved a settlement with former resort ownerAriel Quiros. Quiros and his business partner, William Stenger, were accused in2016 of misusing more than $200 million raised from foreign investors throughthe federal EB-5 visa program. The men have agreed to pay restitution andfines.
Jay Peak will be marketed first. Goldberg doesn’t believe eitherproperty will be sold before November 2018.
Information from: The Caledonian-Record,http://www.caledonianrecord.com