Earlier this summer VPR reported that state officials received documentation of alleged fraud at Jay Peak Resort in 2014, a year and a half before filing charges against resort owner Ariel Quiros and president Bill Stenger.
The documentation came from an unusual source: one of the foreign investors in an EB-5 project at Jay Peak. He managed to piece together the alleged fraud before the state’s investigation even began.
Tony Sutton is a car dealer from London. He’s worked around the world, selling everything from Mazda and Ford to Rolls Royce and Aston Martin. He wanted to move to Florida, learn the American auto industry, and maybe open a dealership of his own.
He never meant to become the ringleader for a group of defrauded investors.
“I don’t know what you call it in America. I was probably the nerd, I guess,” Sutton says.
Then again, Sutton never imagined that the terms of his $500,000 equity investment in Jay Peak Resort — an investment that originally gave him an ownership stake — would be changed without his knowledge.
That happened in 2013, when his equity was suddenly converted to debt. Sutton and 34 other investors in Jay Peak’s Tram Haus Lodge didn’t find out about the change until the next year, in a letter from Jay Peak president Bill Stenger.
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