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Kingdom Con kingpin sentenced to 5 years prison

Ponzi Scheme

Kingdom Con kingpin sentenced to 5 years prison

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Ariel Quiros, the Florida businessman prosecutors say was the mastermind behind the largest fraud case in Vermont history, was sentenced in federal court in Burlington Friday to serve five years in prison.

Quiros pleaded guilty two years ago to wire fraud, money laundering, and concealment of material information in the massive Ponzi scheme. Nine other charges were dropped in the plea deal. He had faced a maximum of nearly eight years in prison under sentencing guidelines. In addition to the 60-month sentence, Judge Geoffrey Crawford also ordered Quiros to pay roughly $8 million in restitution and placed him under supervision for an additional three years.

Prosecutors say Quiros raised $450 million from out-of-state investors through the EB-5 foreign investor program. It was supposed to go to economic development projects like AnC Bio and a conference center and hotel in Newport, but they were never built. That’s because $200 million was misspent covering expenses for other projects and Quiros pocketed $50 million for himself. Judge Crawford called the scheme “a fiction from beginning to end.”

Quiros apologized in court for his actions. The former owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Resorts, has already surrendered more than $80 million in assets, including both resorts, to settle a civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He is the last of three men to be sentenced in the criminal case. His two co-conspirators, William…

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