Crime and Justice

Ariel Quiros, ex-Jay Peak owner, reports to Florida prison for 5-year term in EB-5 fraud case

Ariel Quiros
Ariel Quiros leaves federal court in Burlington after being arraigned on charges pertaining to the EB-5 fraud case in May 2019. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Ariel Quiros, the former owner of Jay Peak Resort who authorities describe as the “mastermind” behind the largest fraud case in Vermont history, has reported to a federal prison in Florida to begin serving five years behind bars.

Quiros, a Miami businessman, has most recently been living in Puerto Rico. He received the longest prison sentence of the three men who admitted to crimes in a massive EB-5 investor fraud scandal that rocked Vermont. The EB-5 program offered green cards — good for permanent U.S. residency — to foreign investors who put up at least $500,000 apiece for job-creation projects.

Quiros was sentenced in late April by federal Judge Geoffrey Crawford in Vermont. On Tuesday, he reported to FPC Pensacola, a minimum-security federal prison camp.

Incarcerated individuals in the prison must wear prison-issued green shirts and green pants, according to the facility’s handbook. The hourly pay for people in custody assigned to work details range from 12 cents to 40 cents per hour, the handbook states. 

Activities offered at the prison include education, vocational classes and religious services. Recreational activities include bocce and horseshoes and intramural sports teams for soccer, flag football, basketball and volleyball.

Quiros pleaded guilty in federal court in Vermont to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and concealing material information.

He was indicted in May 2019 along with Bill Stenger, then the president of Jay Peak, and William Kelly, a longtime friend and adviser to Quiros. All were charged in connection with a proposal to build a $110 million biomedical research center in Newport, known as AnC Bio Vermont.

Though the project raised more than $80 million from over 160 foreign investors through the federal EB-5 program, the project never got off the ground and was termed by regulators “nearly a complete fraud.” 

Stenger and Kelly were each sentenced to 18 months behind bars after pleading guilty to federal charges in the case. Stenger reported last month at Federal Medical Center Devens, a prison in Ayer, Massachusetts, to begin serving his sentence.

Kelly is expected to report next month to the federal Bureau of Prisons to start serving his sentence.

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