Attorneys for a Miami businessman asked a federal judge Monday to allow him to resume operating projects around a Vermont ski resort that a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit charges amount to a massive fraud on hundreds of investors.
Ariel Quiros did not violate any securities laws as the SEC claims in a civil lawsuit over the Jay Peak Resort projects, his attorney David Gordon said at a hearing Monday in Miami federal court. The seven-phase project includes a hotel, a biomedical research facility and rental cottages. Some of the work has not been started or is only partly complete.
The SEC contends Quiros misused some $200 million in investor money and improperly diverted about $50 million for his personal use. The money came from foreign investors in the federal EB-5 visa program, which allows permanent U.S. residency for those who finance projects that create a certain amount of jobs.
The SEC is seeking an injunction barring Quiros from operating companies related to the Jay Peak projects, which would be taken over by a court-appointed receiver. The SEC also has frozen most of Quiros' assets.
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