The brazenness of Ariel Quiros' alleged $200 million fraud in the Northeast Kingdom is perhaps best exemplified by the way the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says he bought Jay Peak resort in June 2008 — by using $21.9 million the Canadian owners of the resort handed over to him as part of the sale, explicitly stipulating it could not be used to buy the resort.
The Canadian company, Mont Saint-Sauveur International Inc. in Quebec, had raised the money through an EB-5 offering to make improvements at Jay Peak. The federal EB-5 program offers a path to citizenship for foreign nationals who invest $500,000 in projects in the United States that create jobs in depressed regions of the country.
Quiros negotiated the sale between Mont Saint-Sauveur and his Q Resorts over six months from January through June 2008, closing the deal on June 23 for $25.7 million.
In a document filed in federal court in Miami, where Quiros and his former partner, Newport resident Bill Stenger are facing fraud allegations, the SEC says Mont Saint-Sauveur representatives wrote a letter on June 18, 2008, explaining that the $21.9 million being transferred to Q Resorts as part of the sale were EB-5 investor funds.
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