Company makes bid to buy New England ski resort that was rocked by massive fraud case

A Utah-based resort company that owns several ski areas has made a bid to buy Jay Peak Resort, the Vermont ski resort that was rocked by a massive fraud case involving its former owner and president.

The court appointed receiver who has been overseeing Jay Peak for more than six years is seeking court approval to sell it for $58 million to Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., which owns Ragged Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Colorado, and Mount Washington Alpine Resort in Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Receiver Michael Goldberg wants to be able to continue to market Jay Peak, and if there are qualified bids, an auction would be held “in order to assure the highest and best offer,” according to Monday’s court filing.

“The time has come for the Receiver to sell Jay Peak Resort,” Goldberg wrote, adding that when he took over Jay Peak in April 2016 it was on the verge of collapse but now is “significantly more profitable and hundreds of jobs have been saved .”

The former Jay Peak owner, former president and an adviser were sentenced this spring to federal prison for their roles in a failed plan to build a biotechnology plant using tens of millions of dollars in foreign investors’ money raised through a special visa program.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the state of Vermont also alleged in 2016 that the then-owner and then-president took part in a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme” that involved misusing more than $200 million of about $400 million raised from foreign investors for various ski area developments through the same visa program.

They settled civil charges with the SEC, with former owner Ariel Quiros surrendering more than $80 million in assets, including Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski resorts.

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