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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Financial Firm to Pay Vermont $5.95 Million in Jay Peak Case

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 12:12 PM

click to enlarge A poster charts a web of financial transactions related to the EB-5 projects. Also shown: Attorney General Bill Sorrell, Gov. Peter Shumlin, Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Susan Donegan and Secretary of Commerce Pat Moulton. - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • A poster charts a web of financial transactions related to the EB-5 projects. Also shown: Attorney General Bill Sorrell, Gov. Peter Shumlin, Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Susan Donegan and Secretary of Commerce Pat Moulton.
The Department of Financial Regulation on Thursday announced it reached a $5.95 million settlement with financial firm Raymond James & Associates in connection with the alleged Jay Peak Resorts investor fraud. 

DFR said the settlement stems from misconduct in Raymond James' Miami office. That's where Jay Peak Resort co-owner Ariel Quiros held several accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission says he used the accounts in a web of transactions to defraud EB-5 investors and misappropriate more than $200 million. 

Raymond James allowed Quiros to inappropriately transfer $13 million in EB-5 investor funds to purchase Jay Peak, and failed to obtain documentation establishing Quiros' control over the investors' funds, among other violations, according to the settlement.

The bulk of the settlement money — $4.5 million — will be used to compensate investors who claim they were defrauded, DFR said. Under the EB-5 program, foreign investors offer a minimum of $500,000 for projects in exchange for green cards.

"DFR's responsibility is to ensure that Vermont's securities laws are followed and that investors are protected," Commissioner Susan Donegan said in a prepared statement. "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."

The settlement will also provide $200,000 to DFR the cover the cost of the agency's investigation and $1.25 million to the state's general fund.

Meanwhile, there could be progress in the ongoing case against Quiros' business partner, Bill Stenger. VTDigger.org reported Thursday that Stenger's attorney said in court filings that his client is in "serious, detailed settlement discussions" with the SEC.


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Mark Davis

Mark Davis

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Mark Davis is a Seven Days staff writer.

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