An alleged fraud involving a Vermont ski resort has Bridgeport-based People’s United Bank facing angry investors and potential legal action.
The developers of Jay Peak, in northern Vermont near the Canadian border, are accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of misusing more than $200 million in investor funds by transferring money from escrow accounts held at People’s United Bank into personal accounts.
Following an investigation, the SEC filed its lawsuit alleging that Ariel Quiros, of Miami; William Stenger, of Newport, Vt.; and their companies were involved in a Ponzi scheme with funds they obtained under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
The EB-5 program gives foreign investors the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. if they create a certain number of jobs and invest a minimum of $500,000 in a rural area or one with high unemployment.
Over the course of roughly eight years, the men raised more than $350 million from investors for a ski resort project called Jay Peak and a $110 million biomedical research center, according to the SEC.
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