Break out the tiny violins. Hold an onion under your eyes and squeeze out a few tears for Ariel Quiros, alleged EB-5 fraudster. His assets have been frozen by a federal court, and he’s having trouble making ends meet. Probably eating cat food for dinner and shacking up under a freeway bridge.
He’s claiming poverty in a court filing discovered by VTDigger’s Anne Galloway. But it’s a very special definition of “poverty” that could only come from a man accustomed to great wealth.
Quiros claims he needs $100,000 a month for “so-called reasonable living expenses.” In addition, Quiros is seeking $300,000 [a month] for professional expenses related to his court case.
Yeah, a hundred G’s just doesn’t go very far these days. I wonder if he qualifies for food stamps.
His “reasonable” expenses include $14,000 a month to pay living expenses for his son and daughter — who are both college-educated adults — plus $5,000 for leases on luxury vehicles, and nearly $7,000 for “personal assistants.”
In the words of Detroit Lions legend Joe Schmidt, “Life is a shit sandwich, and every day you take another bite.”
The feds’ response characterized Quiros’ filing as an “outrageous request for living expenses to support his lavish lifestyle,” noted that the claims are not documented, and asserted that even if his assets weren’t frozen, Quiros wouldn’t be able to pay those bills because he is sorely lacking in “liquid frozen assets.”
Which dovetails nicely with the feds’ claim that Quiros was diverting millions in EB-5 investor funds to underwrite his “lavish lifestyle”: he didn’t have cash of his own, so he was dependent on raiding EB-5. Which dovetails nicely with the fact that many of the Stenger/Quiros projects are tapped out, even though they remain unfinished or unbegun.
Last month, a federal judge responded to Quiros’ initial request for financial relief by allowing him access to $41,000. Which, by his latest reckoning of his needs, is about three days’ worth. Which also, in a devastating irony, is roughly the average household income in the Northeast Kingdom.
It’d be lovely if we could empale a jury of Kingdom residents to rule on Quiros’ outrageous desires. As it is, I expect the judge to lean toward the feds rather than Poor Little Rich Man. He’d better start clipping coupons, maybe find himself one of those ambulance-chasing law firms that only charge contingency fees. And his kids should start looking for jobs.