Ever since the Securities and Exchange Commission brought the hammer down on the Jay Peak/Northeast Kingdom EB-5 developers, there have been plenty of Vermonters hoping that local hero Bill Stenger will turn out to be nothing more than a dupe in a massive fraud scheme by Ariel Quiros. That’s certainly the tale that Stenger’s been anxious to tell.
Well, now it’s Quiros’ turn to throw his partner under the bus. VTDigger’s Anne Galloway reports that Quiros has deployed an interesting defense — one that tacitly acknowledges wrongdoing on a significant scale.
The Miami businessman was not responsible for offering documents and did not communicate with investors, defense attorneys said. They allege that Stenger was the one who made misrepresentations to investors.
Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho. Cute.
It’s kind of a Hail Mary pass, which indicates exactly how deep in the doo-doo Quiros finds himself. First, as I said, he’s tacitly admitting that there were “misrepresentations to investors and… violat[ions of] securities laws.” That’s kind of the heart of the SEC’s case.
Second, while it may be technically true that Stenger made the misrepresentations, it stretches credulity beyond the breaking point to think Quiros could have been unaware or noncomplicit. Just as Stenger had to know something was fishy with the finances, Quiros had to know what investors were being told.
Quiros has a point, just barely. Stenger was the front man for the whole operation. He was the manager and the PR guy. Quiros was the silent presence, always within camera range but rarely stepping to the microphone.
Still, Quiros had to know what was going on. He had to know that tens of millions of dollars were flowing into his accounts. Unless he’s the most incurious man in the world, he must have known where the money was coming from.
Until now, Quiros had been insisting that nothing was wrong at Jay Peak, that the SEC complaint was groundless. This new tactic is a big departure, and a giant blinking neon sign that his defense is already crumbling and his lawyers are attempting an orderly retreat.
That’s a real trick to pull off. It rarely ends well.
Great analysis. Both clearly operated hand-in-glove as Q so foolishly but clearly enunciated- small wonder counsel insist clients stfu.
Quiros has sketchy etched upon face, and hiding-something persona all practiced crims exude. Claims he was in fact enlisted by Douglas- if true personally question how this could escape Douglas. I allege it couldn’t, hence Anc-Bio — and the complete fraud all now know it to be & always was — along with the rest of the EB5 sordid history, hatched & hidden in plain sight.
Would advise Milne to drop it while it’s hot & Scott to find another best-bud as the good gov has been at too many crime scenes for the unassuming bland honesty act to continue. Nerds get away with so much. Doesn’t even do his own stunts.
EB5gate scheme has appearance of wealthy, primarily oriental investors sought, courted then washed-rinsed-spinned and then repeated, then replicated. Included executive-level officials jet-setting with business leaders. Gee- wonder how many times victims were Shumlined by the now infamous “In VT our Word-Is-Bond” shtick part of the traveling roadshow. Cut to the scene of Douglas in suit wearing prominantly displayed flowery boutonniere assisted by doe-eyed translator.
Guessing orientals targeted by this scheme were chosen b/c of unworldly naivette, among other things, with cultural trust componant exploited by government-guarantee and officially-sanctioned promises as Shummy himself, ever the glib fast-talking maneuverer even had the gall to brag about, and also serving as speaker at get-rich-quick EB5 sales conferences in Florida.
Hindsight view seems to show that after joining the jet-set looks like fficials in fact served as traveling salesmen to actively seek out & create a hundreds-of-millions pipeline and ‘con’duit to our pristine state hypnotizing immigrant investors by dangling shiny-object of citizenship in the land of opportunity-America! Net worth of which not unlike winning the lottery to immigrants.
Any scheme involving a revenue stream resulting in theft of this scale is no accident but by design. Creative designers then allowed funds to be deposited in a fraud-inducing theft-inviting manner with checkered oversight layered between agencies & individuals who had none, or next to, fiduciary responsibility with others who did, such as six-figure salaried sycophant & accomplice Larry Miller who was then moved to provide his brilliant management skills to sort out troubled VHC resultant trainwreck, and hows that working out.
All or most of our officials can be seen, prior to Donegan, whose actions are exemplary imo, in the timeline behind the lifted veil, acting in concert by failing to act responsibly as guardians of investor and also public funds. While top offials, two governors, studiously avoided knowledge of the arrangement insulated by underlings while claims made to investors was of strict oversight. With eyes wide shut.
Shummy regime one for record & textbooks. Deviant Behavior chapter in Psych 101 comes to mind – deluge of distorted data seems to have no end. Soo…is it any wonder our governor Peter Shumlin is demanding a ransom-like $20,000.00 for the damn & rest-assuredly damning emails – while releasing only the undamning ones???
Entire VT media should call pathological liar-channeling Peter Shumlin to the carpet — along with his bluff — pool funds and release emails en masse. If just one did it would set wonderful example.
With our burgeoning prison population *no one* should be above the law.