Receiver Michael Goldberg is seeking to depose the attorneys of Mont Saint-Sauveur International; Goldberg claims MSSI illegally accepted $18 million in EB-5 investor funds from buyer Ariel Quiros, the man behind the biggest EB-5 fraud ever. Goldberg is suing MSSI for more than $80 million in damages.
The receiver for the embattled resort wants a federal judge to allow him to depose two attorneys for the Canadian company who owned the infamous resort before selling it to Ariel Quiros. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) determined Quiros wrongly used EB-5 investor capital to buy the resort from Mont Saint-Sauveur International.
Goldberg wants to take the depositions of Alwynn Gillet and Janice Naymark, who legally represented MSSI during the time of the sale of the EB5 project.Goldberg says the lawyers “gave counsel which directly resulted in the transfer of $18 million of EB5 green card investor funds, which Quiros ultimately used to acquire the ski resort.
The receiver’s filing states that former owners “aided and abetted the fraudulent scheme with knowledge of the improper and illegal nature of its actions.”
David Pocius, the lawyer for Saint Sauveur Valley Resorts (the new name of MSSI) is fighting Goldberg’s request for deposition of the lawyers. Pocius says Goldberg is not seeking to depose any other witnesses and has not reviewed the over 900,000 case documents he can access. The resort’s lawyer calls it “ludicrous” to say Goldberg has a need for the depositions and that he has not exhausted other means to get the information he needs.
Goldberg is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Canadian resort company and says the damages against Saint Sauveur may exceed the sale price of the Jay Peak — perhaps over $80 million.
Saint Sauveur Valley Resorts calls the receiver’s claim for damages “preposterous” and maintains Goldberg should not be able to collect damages over and above the Jay Peak assets he currently controls.
SSVR also contends that when the resort sold Jay Peak to Quiros, they sent a letter saying that the capital of the EB5 investors“may not be used in any manner” for the sale of the resort. But during the SEC filing in a case last year, an investor lawyer claimed that document was just a “protect your ass” letter and that the Canadian company was fully aware that Quiros would be using EB-5 investor capital to pay for Jay Peak.
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