Potential Jay Peak buyer accused of fraud

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copyright the Chronicle September 21, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

JAY PEAK — When Michael Goldberg got a letter offering to buy Jay Peak for $93-million some aspects of it set off alarms. His suspicions proved to be justified when a quick search showed that the man who made the offer has been accused of a $3-million stock swindle.

Mr. Goldberg explained his concerns about the offer from Jean Joseph of Bellwether Business Group and his follow-up correspondence in a report filed September 16 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.

Mr. Goldberg said the original offer was unusually vague, and didn’t fully specify what the purchaser wanted to get for his money. In addition, the due diligence list, setting out the kind of information about Jay Peak the potential purchaser hoped to get before finalizing the deal, included a number of items that were not applicable to a ski area.

The timeframe for completing the sale proposed by Mr. Joseph also appeared impossibly short, Mr. Goldberg said.

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Jay 14-year-old is women’s amateur national flowboarding champion

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copyright the Chronicle September 7, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

JAY — Monica Caffrey is tiny, muscular, and tanned. She’s 14 years old, and an eighth-grader at North Country Union Junior High School. And she was recently crowned the amateur women’s national flowboarding champion.

Flowboarding — also called flowriding — hasn’t been around as an organized sport much longer than Monica’s been alive.

It’s somewhere between skateboarding and surfing. The board is like a small finless surfboard. The moves are straight out of skateboarding right down to the names.

But it’s done on the water — specifically on an artificial 35-mile-an-hour vertical wave, called a sheet wave, that can curl over at the top like a breaking wave on the beach.

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Stenger settles, no longer works at Jay

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copyright the Chronicle September 7, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

Bill Stenger, the former president of Jay Peak Resort, is no longer a defendant in the civil lawsuit filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against him and the owner of the resort, Ariel Quiros. Mr. Stenger is also no longer employed by Jay Peak.

After several months of negotiations, Mr. Stenger reached an agreement with SEC lawyers under which he will be liable to whatever penalties U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles might impose for securities fraud. Although Mr. Stenger neither admitted nor denied the charges filed against him, he will allow himself to be treated as if he were guilty of the charges for purposes of punishment.

As part of the settlement, Mr. Stenger is permanently barred from participating in any way in selling securities connected to the EB-5 visa program or having any control over a business that does.

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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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Jay Peak hosts annual Porsche parade

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copyright the Chronicle June 29, 2016

by Jef Barker

A week of Porsche Club of America (PCA) events, including a concours, a time, speed, and distance rally, and a parade of Porsches ended Saturday with 350 of the German-made cars driving from Jay Peak to Newport. Several dozen cars and about 150 people continued on to the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line.

There were at least a dozen people on the sidewalks and front lawns on and around Main Street in Newport taking pictures of the cars when the parade passed by at the turnaround point.

Some of the drivers parked at the state office building or on Main Street to enjoy Newport, but most looped around and headed back to Jay or continued on to the Haskell Opera House.

The Porsche owners took care of their own throughout the week — with about 600 club members volunteering for four- to six-hour shifts, doing everything from setup and tear down to working at the event car wash hosted by the Jay Fire Department…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Jay Peak tram won’t be repaired until next spring

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copyright the Chronicle June 8, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

The state has ordered that the tram at Jay Peak be shut down until critical repairs are made. And the only company that can do the work has said Jay must wait until April of next year for the upgrade work.

The area’s main lift needs immediate attention, and that means lots of money, Michael Goldberg, the receiver for Jay Peak Resort, Burke Mountain Resort, and the other businesses owned and run by Ariel Quiros, told U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles in a ten-page motion on June 1.

Judge Gayles, who appointed Mr. Goldberg, is presiding over a civil suit filed against Mr. Quiros, Bill Stenger, former president of Jay Peak, and their associated network of companies. The suit was filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in U.S. Court…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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EB-5 investor files suit against Raymond James

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copyright the Chronicle May 11, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

Jay Peak’s EB-5 projects are keeping Miami’s federal court hopping.

A disappointed investor has launched a class action suit aimed directly at the deep pockets of Raymond James, the financial services company that acted as the bank for Jay Peak owner Ariel Quiros. Like the other civil cases aimed at Jay Peak’s foreign investor program this was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Quiros has filed a challenge to the temporary restraining order issued by federal Judge Darrin Gayles that put his assets, including Jay Peak and Burke Mountain, into the hands of a receiver.

He has also asked Judge Gayles to release almost $300,000 to pay legal costs for his defense against charges laid against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In turn, the SEC has asked Judge Gayles to deny Mr. Quiros’ request for access to enough money to pay living expenses amounting to around $100,000 a month. In its filing…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Quiros asks for “reasonable” living expenses

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copyright the Chronicle May 11, 2016 

by Joseph Gresser

Ariel Quiros, the owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain, has asked federal Judge Darrin Gayles to allow him access to enough money to cover what he considers reasonable living expenses.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strongly disagrees with Mr. Quiros’ idea of what is reasonable.

The SEC called the nearly $100,000 a month Mr. Quiros said he needs to live on an “outrageous sum” in its motion opposing the release of the money.

About $90,000 of that amount is for “luxury items, non-necessities, or for undocumented expenses,” the SEC said.

Those include car lease payments of $3,295 for one of his automobiles, and $1,761 for one driven by his wife, and storage and upkeep payments for his collection of military jeeps of about $3,000 a month.

Mr. Quiros said he pays $147 a month to a yacht club and…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Citibank has interest in Quiros funds

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copyright the Chronicle May 4, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

After only a couple of weeks on the job, the receiver for Jay Peak, Burke Mountain, and other businesses owned by Ariel Quiros seems to have things well under control.

In a news conference on Wednesday, April 27, Michael Goldberg said he now has enough money to keep Jay Peak operating and to get the new hotel at Q Burke open.

“All we need is snow,” the Florida lawyer said, sounding exactly like the ski area owner he suddenly became when federal Judge Darrin Gayles of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida appointed him.

In doing so he gave Mr. Goldberg control of assets belonging to Mr. Quiros and his companies, including his bank accounts.

Since his appointment, he has asked for further authority, including control of Burke Mountain and its associated companies, and Judge Gayles agreed.

Mr. Quiros disputes the charges against him, and will first argue his case in a hearing scheduled for…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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