Ariel Quiros Sr., who is accused of masterminding a “Ponzi-like” fraud scheme at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts in the Northeast Kingdom, has been pleading with a U.S. District Court judge in Miami, Florida, to lift or modify an asset freeze over his money and properties.
He asked for $90,000 a month for living expenses and lawyer fees. A federal judge gave him $15,000 and permission to sell a piece of property to fund his legal defense.
In court records Quiros cited the costs of his condos, luxury car leases, yacht club membership, allowance for his two adult children in the thousands each per month and private elementary school tuition for his granddaughter as essentials.
Quiros told the judge he is in need of major funds to cover legal bills with a number of attorneys who have been working on his case since he was accused in mid-April of federal securities violations by both the Securities Exchange Commission and Vermont’s attorney general.
The judge in the case on Friday ordered that Quiros could sell one of his two New York City condos - the one which it is not certain if investor funds were misused to purchase - the Setai Condo.
The proceeds must go to the federal receiver in charge of the assets owned in the Northeast Kingdom by Quiros. The receiver will have to turn over $15,000 a month to Quiros for living and other expenses, including lawyers’ fees.
U.S. District Court judge in the case in Miami, Judge Darrin Gayles, on Friday allowed a partial lift of the asset freeze over Quiros’ holdings, to allow him to sell or mortage his Setai condominium in New York City, and to pay off anything owed on the condo, then to turn the proceeds over to the federal receiver, Goldberg, who will be permitted to use the funds to cover “Quiros’s reasonable attorney’s fees in amounts approved by the Court.”
Quiros, in Judge Gayles’ decision this week, was also given $15,000 a month in living and other expenses, to be paid by the receiver, the judge ordered on Friday. Quiros sought $90,000 a month, which the court found to be unreasonable, Friday’s ruling noted. “However, the Court does find that Quiros should be able to pay reasonable living expenses and to retain and pay counsel. The Setai Condominium, if sold or mortgaged, would be a source of such funds.”
Whether the condo was purchased with so-called ‘tainted funds’ from investors remains in dispute, the judge noted in his ruling. As a result, the decision put “safeguards in place such that Quiros will not have unfettered access to the proceeds of the sale. This will help ensure that investors’ funds are protected,” the judge’s order concluded.