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Not So Fast My Friend: Raymond James Suspends Manager Frank Amigo Following Testimony In EB-5 Fraud Case

By George C. Miller, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Monday, March 27, 2017.

George Miller, Esq.
619.696.9500 ex. 105
[email protected] 

In 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced fraud charges against the Vermont-based “Jay Peak” ski resort and its operators, including Ariel Quiros of Miami, Florida and William Stenger of Vermont. Among other things, the SEC claimed Quiros and others made material misrepresentations to wealthy, foreign investors in raising more than $350 million through the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Congress enacted that program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and foreign capital investment. Provided certain requirements are met, foreign investors who participate in the program are eligible for immigration visas providing for immediate, legal entry into the country.

The SEC further alleged Quiros improperly used upwards of $55 million in investor funds for his own personal gain, including the purchase of a luxury condominium, payment of taxes, and the acquisition of an unrelated ski resort in Vermont. A court-appointed receiver in the case has since sued Raymond James, claiming the firm aided and abetted the fraud.

Investors subsequently filed a class action complaint against Raymond James seeking damages for the firm’s alleged role in the fraud. Following his recent deposition in connection with that suit, Frank Amigo, once a “star” complex manager at Raymond James, has been placed on administrative leave. While he is not named in the suit, the investors allege Amigo helped facilitate the scheme by participating in meetings with Quiros and another former Raymond James broker, Joel Burstein. According to recent reports, Quiros disputes the SEC’s allegations and both the SEC’s enforcement action and class action are ongoing. Amigo’s future with Raymond James, which, coincidentally, paid a $17 million fine in 2016 for lax anti-money laundering controls, remains to be seen.

Shustak Reynolds & Partners P.C.’s San Diego and Los Angeles FINRA, SEC and financial services attorneys have extensive experience representing financial advisors, RIA firms, hedge funds and other financial professionals in a variety of securities matters, including FINRA arbitrations and FINRA and SEC examinations, investigations and enforcement actions. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.

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