Lawyers for Stenger tell state to bring it on

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copyright the Chronicle October 19, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Lawyers for Bill Stenger have told the state to bring it on. In a September 7 filing in the Civil Division of Washington County Superior Court, they denied all the fraud charges related to EB-5 visa funded projects sponsored by Jay Peak and have demanded a jury trial.

Mr. Stenger recently settled similar charges levied against him by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In the settlement, Mr. Stenger did not admit or deny the charges against him, but he agreed to accept whatever penalties U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles may decide to assess.

Mr. Stenger also promised that he would not say anything that contradicted the SEC charges.

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Bill Stenger still on the payroll at Jay Peak — for now

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copyright the Chronicle August 24, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — For more than 30 years visitors to Jay Peak Resort had a hard time avoiding the ski area’s general manager, later president, Bill Stenger. They might find him parking cars, selling lift tickets, or clearing tables in one of the area’s restaurants.

One might think that would have changed since he and Jay Peak’s owner Ariel Quiros were accused of investment fraud in civil complaints filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the state’s Department of Financial Regulation (DFR).

That would be a mistake.

Mr. Stenger is as visible as ever. He’s still working for Jay Peak, albeit in a very different role, that of assisting court-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg as he tries to keep Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts running while legal proceedings are underway.

He has the same office that he occupied when he was president of the resort, the same e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. He even drives the same Audi he has driven for the past six years, complete with a Jay Peak vanity plate.

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EB-5 investors take aim at Quiros and Raymond James

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copyright the Chronicle June 15, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

The major skirmishes in the legal battle over Jay Peak’s EB-5 projects seem to have settled down, at least for the moment. Civil suits filed against Ariel Quiros, the owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts, and his companies, along with Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, have been filed in federal court by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and, in Vermont Superior Court, by the state Department of Financial Regulation.

Both allege that Mr. Quiros, with the help of Mr. Stenger, misused around $200-million of the $350-million they raised from foreign investors hoping to get green cards in exchange for putting money into a job-creating project. Mr. Quiros is also accused of taking about $55-million for his own use.

Mr. Quiros’ businesses and property have been put in the hands of Michael Goldberg, appointed receiver…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Quiros allowed $15,000 a month for expenses

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copyright the Chronicle June 1, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

U.S. District Court Judge Darrin Gayles granted, in part, Ariel Quiros’ request for money to pay legal fees and living expenses last week. The same day Mr. Quiros, the owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts, and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appeared to argue whether his assets and companies should be placed under a receivership.

Mr. Quiros’ assets were frozen and placed under the control of a receiver in April after he and Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, were charged by the SEC with civil offenses including mishandling, comingling, and, in the case of Mr. Quiros, misappropriating about $200-million.

The money was invested in hotels and other projects at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain and in a biomedical facility in Newport by foreigners who hoped to gain permanent residency status through the federal EB-5 visa program…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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SEC turns up heat on Quiros

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copyright the Chronicle May 18, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Federal regulators turned up the heat on Ariel Quiros Tuesday when they filed an amended complaint in the civil case against the owner of Jay Peak Resort.  Mr. Quiros, along with many of his businesses, and Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, were first charged with violating federal securities laws in connection with several EB-5 funded projects in a suit filed on April 12 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In filing an amended version of its initial complaint Tuesday, the SEC sharpened its accusations against Mr. Quiros, specifically charging that he used investor money from later phases of his eight EB-5 projects to make up shortfalls in earlier phases.

The SEC has held all along that Mr. Quiros misused, wrongly co-mingled, and stole money from foreign investors who sought permanent residency status in the U.S. by means of the EB-5 visa program.  Those investors and their families would be eligible for green cards if their $500,000 investments in a business in a hard-up area of the U.S. produced at least ten permanent jobs.

Jay Peak financed extensive developments, including three hotels, a water park, a skating area, and numerous other vacation properties, through the visa program.  Mr. Quiros also used money from the program to pay for a hotel at Burke Mountain, and planned to build a biomedical facility in Newport with EB-5 investment.

The SEC claims Mr. Quiros took $55-million for himself and could leave investors without their money or a path to residency in the U.S. if his most recent projects remain unfinished.

In the amended version of its complaint, the SEC specified which projects it claims Mr. Quiros stole from and details how he used the money he allegedly took.

The amended charges say Mr. Quiros and his associates took $6.5-million more than they were entitled to from the project that built the golf clubhouse and a number of condominiums at Jay Peak.  Mr. Quiros also failed to invest a promised $3.8-million…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Jay Peak is alarmingly short of money

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copyright the Chronicle April 27, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Jay Peak may not have enough money to keep going through the summer, said Michael Goldberg, the Florida lawyer put in charge of overseeing the collection of EB-5 projects centered around the ski resort.

“I have learned that the Receivership Entities are in dire financial position and in danger of not having sufficient funds to continue operating beyond the very immediate future,” he wrote in a declaration directed to the U.S. District Court for Southern Florida.

Mr. Goldberg was given control of Jay Peak and the other assets of its owner, Ariel Quiros, by federal judge Darrin Gayles on April 13.  As the court-appointed receiver he has been investigation the finances of a network of companies connected with Jay Peak’s EB-5 project as well as those of the ski resort itself.

The SEC has alleged that Bill Stenger and Mr. Quiros misused about $200-million of…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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EB-5: Suspicions arose in 2010

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copyright the Chronicle April 27, 2016

by Tena Starr

A suspicious Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) started questioning Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, owner of Jay Peak and Q Burke, back in May of 2014.  But they weren’t the only ones who were suspicious, and they certainly were not the first.

Four years earlier, in 2010, John Carpenter, who was then controller at the ski area, told Mr. Stenger he believed something was awry, according to SEC documents.  For one thing, he could not get access to the accounts at financial services company Raymond James, held by Mr. Quiros, which he’d repeatedly asked for, he told the SEC in a so-called “declaration.”

Mr. Carpenter’s quotes here come from that document.

The SEC is alleging that the Northeast Kingdom EB-5 projects were actually a giant Ponzi-like scheme, in which $200-million of…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Lawsuits claim massive fraud

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copyright the Chronicle April 20, 2016

by Chris Braithwaite

The fix was in from the beginning.

That grim conclusion emerges from a reading of the civil lawsuits state and federal officials have filed against Bill Stenger, Ariel Quiros, Jay Peak, Inc., Q Resorts, Inc., and a host of the corporations and partnerships the two men have established over the past eight years.

Ever since he announced that he was a part owner of Jay Peak in 2008, Mr. Stenger has presided over a stunning series of expansion programs aimed at converting the ski area to a year-round resort. All were funded by foreign investors seeking immigrant status under the EB-5 visa program, which rewards half-million-dollar job-creating investments with a green card.

And, as Mr. Stenger never tired of telling skeptical critics, five of the six major expansions he’s undertaken at Jay have been finished as promised; they’re up and running.

But the state and federal complaints allege…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger pled ignorance to SEC in 2014

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copyright the Chronicle April 20, 2016

by Chris Braithwaite

When investigators with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked Bill Stenger whether his partner had bought Jay Peak resort with money misappropriated from foreign investors, Mr. Stenger said he didn’t know.

That was the gist of Mr. Stenger’s answers in May 2014, when he was summoned to Miami, Florida, to answer questions about how Ariel Quiros became the owner of Jay Peak in June 2008.

In the lawsuit it filed last week, the SEC charged that Mr. Quiros’ diversion of the investors’ funds to buy the ski area was the beginning of a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme” that led them to seize both Jay Peak and Q Burke Mountain last week.

When asked if he knew if any of the funds Mr. Quiros used to buy Jay Peak were investor’s funds that had been transferred to a Miami brokerage house, Mr. Stenger’s reply was vague:

“I don’t know if they were or not,” he said according to a transcript of his deposition. “They might have been. I don’t know.”

Mr. Stenger’s alleged role…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Stenger and state spar over finances

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copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

EAST BURKE – A long-running disagreement between the sponsors of two EB-5-funded projects and state regulators has been thrown into sharp relief through an exchange of letters between the owners of Q Burke Resort and the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR).

On March 25, Commissioner Susan Donegan of the DFR sent a letter to Bill Stenger, one of the Q Burke partners and co-owner of Jay Peak Resort, in which she accused him of failing “to engage in best business practices.”

That failure, Ms. Donegan maintained, made it impossible for her to give the Q Burke partners complete access to investors’ money now held.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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