Jay Peak resort owner Ariel Quiros hit back Wednesday against the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s bid to strike his affirmative defenses in a $350 million EB-5 visa investment fraud case in Florida federal court, arguing that he doesn’t yet have to prove the defenses.
Quiros filed an opposition to the SEC’s motion to strike all eight of the defenses from his amended answer to the complaint. He said that his initial answer included 34 affirmative defenses, and that he whittled them down after conferring with the regulators. But the SEC is apparently still not happy, he said.
“Defendant Ariel Quiros’s amended answer to plaintiff’s amended complaint alleges just eight affirmative defenses, all of which are proper,” the opposition said. “Yet, by its motion to strike affirmative defenses, plaintiff Securities and Exchange Commission — which brought a fifty-two count complaint — claims that Mr. Quiros should not be allowed to plead any of his affirmative defenses.”
Regulators filed suit in April, accusing Quiros and Jay Peak CEO William Stenger of misappropriating the bulk of $350 million raised from investors hoping to obtain visas through the EB-5 program, which provides green cards to foreign nationals who invest in job-creating American businesses.
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