Vermont ski resort business man, Ariel Quiros, has agreed to pay back more than $81 million after misusing EB-5 investors' money for personal expenses.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled with Quiros for $81 million and was fined an additional $1 million. Quiros did not admit to wrongdoing.
More than 700 EB-5 investors placed capital into a Vermont ski resorts called Jay Peak resorts owned by Quiros. His companies failed to use the EB-5 funding to develop the Jay Peaks projects.
In 2016, Ariel Quiros along with president of Jay Peak, William Stenger, were accused of misusing over $50 million of EB-5 investor money for personal projects.
Developers seek out the highly attractive EB-5 funding, which offers low-interest capital. In return for investing $500,000 into these real estate projects, EB-5 foreign investors can obtain U.S. green cards for themselves and their immediate family. To fulfill the program requirements, an EB-5 investors must prove that they invested their capital into a qualified project and that it created 10 jobs for U.S. workers.
According to the SEC, Quiros would not only be paying back $81 million, but he would be relinquishing ownership of the two resorts, as well as his stake in multiple real estate projects.
Will the timing of this case, affect the EB-5 Regional Center Program renewal as the February 8th date looms? Will it spark interest in reform. Due to the heavy focus on DACA, it's unlikely that the EB-5 Program will face reforms just yet.
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