More Settlements in Vermont EB-5 Case — and Quiros Wants His Passport Back

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There has been yet another multi-million dollar settlement in the continuing drama of the multiple failed EB-5 investments in the state of Vermont.

This time, the settlement is for about $8 million, and it will go to a group of alien investors and, of course, their lawyers, according to a Law360 article (partly paywalled).

The EB-5 program gives the families of investors a family-sized set of green cards if they invest $900,000 (formerly $500,000) in a Department of Homeland Security-approved, but not guaranteed, investment, usually in real estate.

As we reported earlier , Ariel Quiros, a Florida businessman, pleaded guilty to three separate federal criminal charges for his (major) role in the case, which involved ski resorts and a proposed pharmaceutical factory, among other ventures. He will not be sentenced until after the conclusion of a criminal trial for some of his colleagues in the case. That trial will take place later this year.

Raymond James, the brokerage house used by Quiros, and Quiros himself, have agreed to prior settlements in the range of $200 million. The court-appointed trustee in the case, Michael Goldberg, has played a positive role in untangling this mess.

In the meantime, Quiros, a resident of Florida, has asked the court to allow him to move to Puerto Rico (which can use whatever visitors it can get) and to give him back his passport so that he can continue his international financial business.

Giving an admitted criminal facing years in the federal prison system his passport back strikes me as a thoroughly bad idea.

As a footnote, the federal judge, according to one of the many documents in the PACER file for this case (1:16-cv-21301), ordered that the terms of the $8 million settlement should be placed in a legal advertisement in the VT Digger, the alternative news source that has covered the EB-5 scandals with commendable zeal. This will provide a tiny bit of revenue for the news organization.

This post originally appeared on Center for Immigration StudiesLow-immigration. Reprinted with permission.


About The Author

David North a Fellow of the Center for Immigration Studies, is an internationally recognized authority on immigration policy. His concentration is predominantly on the interaction between immigration and domestic systems, such as education and labor markets.He has examined legal, illegal, and temporary migration, as well as immigration law enforcement and refugee resettlement policies, for a variety of governmental and non-governmental agencies, both in the US and overseas.Prior to his work at the Center, Mr. North conducted two studies for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on what happens to foreign-born students in science and engineering when they attend American graduate schools. He also conducted a year-long evaluation of the impact of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act for the Ford Foundation.In earlier years he served in the U.S. Labor Department as the Assistant for Farm Labor to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, and as the executive director of LBJ’s Cabinet Committee on Mexican-American Affairs. Both assignments involved extensive contact with U.S. immigration policy. His work overseas included research for the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. in Europe and Canada; diaspora research for a post-Duvalier government of Haiti, and immigrant investor program research for Australia. Mr. North received a Fulbright Scholarship to attend Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, where he earned a MA (NZ). He is a magna cum laude graduate from Princeton University.


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