Receiver reaches $13.3 million settlement with Citibank
MONTPELIER, Vt. – A receiver overseeing two ski resorts at the center of a fraud investigation says a $13.3 million settlement with Citibank will subsidize operations at one of the resorts and a newly opened hotel at the other and pay contractors and vendors.
A federal judge in Florida must approve the settlement. An approval hearing is scheduled for Oct. 20 in Miami.
Ariel Quiros, owner of the Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts, and Bill Stenger, Jay Peak’s former president, were accused by Vermont and the Securities and Exchange Commission in April of misusing about $200 million from foreign investors through a special visa program.
Quiros, of Miami, also is accused in the civil complaints of diverting about $50 million for his personal use. His lawyer has said he’ll be cleared of wrongdoing.
Stenger announced last week that he had reached a settlement with the SEC that sets up a framework to resolve the SEC case against him. In his Sept. 1 statement he said he had not admitted nor denied the SEC’s allegations.
Receiver Michael Goldberg said last week that Stenger is no longer an employee of Jay Peak.
Goldberg said Citibank in March extended a $15 million personal line of credit to Quiros, who used collateral accounts to secure it and improperly diverted investor funds from those accounts.
Citibank, the banking unit of New York-based Citigroup Inc., has not admitted wrongdoing. It said Quiros had not paid back the line of credit.
The settlement would bar anyone such as creditors or investors involved with the Jay Peak case from suing or making claims against Citibank.
The money would be used to keep Jay Peak and the Burke hotel fully operational until they are sold and to pay some of the claims from vendors and contractors who worked on the hotel and various developments, Goldberg said. About $3.5 million was still owed to the contractor and subcontractors who worked on the hotel, outgoing Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development secretary Patricia Moulton said last week.
The settlement also will be used to pay for Goldberg’s services and set aside a contingency fund for operations of Jay Peak and the Burke hotel.