Merrill Lynch settles with state, receiver for $4.5 million over Jay Peak EB-5 projects

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Merrill Lynch settles with state, receiver for $4.5 million over Jay Peak EB-5 projects

Fri, 01/07/2022 - 11:46am -- tim

Jay Peak's Pump House water park was one of several facilities funded by EB-5 immigrant investors. Courtesy photo.

Vermont Business Magazine On January 6, 2022, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) and the federally appointed receiver for Jay Peak, Michael Goldberg, announced a settlement with the broker-dealer firm Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch). The settlement totals $4.5 million and relates to Merrill Lynch’s handling of accounts used in connection with the Jay Peak EB-5 fraud.

DFR alleges Merrill Lynch’s administration of the accounts represented potential violations of the Vermont Securities Act, over which DFR has regulatory authority. The settlement was jointly negotiated with Michael Goldberg, who also asserted claims on behalf of the receivership estate.

“This is another good settlement for the Jay Peak investors and provides further restitution to help mitigate the financial impact caused by Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger,” said Commissioner Michael Pieciak. “I want to thank Michael Goldberg for his efforts in reaching this settlement and I look forward to continuing to work with him to help mitigate the financial and immigration impacts of the fraud.”

Under the agreement, Merrill Lynch will pay $4 million to settle the claims brought by the Jay Peak receivership estate, and in lieu of a $500,000 penalty to DFR, that amount will be provided directly to the receiver for investor restitution.  

The settlement agreement has been filed with United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida which will need to provide final approval. Jay Peak receivership website.

Commissioner Pieciak recognizes the diligent work of the Department of Financial Regulation Assistant General Counsel Jennifer Rood in ushering this settlement through until the end.

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Source: Montpelier, VT – Vermont Department of Financial Regulation 1.7.2022