The founder of VisionQuest, a Raleigh, North Carolina, investment firm, charged with running an illegal “Ponzi” scheme that bilked investors out of nearly US$15 million, could be forced to forfeit his Costa Rican luxury home.
Stephen Condon Peters, 44, was indicted by a United States federal grand jury on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, the day before a freeze on his assets was set to expire.
Peters faces charges fraud and corruption after a federal investigation into Raleigh-based VisionQuest. On July 12, the FBI raided the VisionQuest offices.
In court Thursday, a U.S. federal judge agreed to release Peters if he met certain terms that also includes a lengthy forfeiture notice.
Wes Camden, Peters’ lawyer, said his client denies the charges against him and “looks forward to having his day in court.
“As we all know, there are two sides to every story, and Mr. Peters very much looks forward to telling his side through the vigorous defense of this case,” Camden said.
According to The News & Observer report, from 2009 to 2017, prosecutors contend, Peters sold at least US$15 million worth of promissory notes in VisionQuest Capital. Those notes were sold primarily to clients at another of Peters’ companies, VisionQuest Management, in exchange for investments, investors were promised 8 percent annually in interest. If the investors agreed to forgo that interest and reinvest, they were promised a 9 percent rate of return, prosecutors contend.
Investigators contend Peters used the money to support a lavish lifestyle that included a “luxury vacation home in Costa Rica”.
The property, “Casa de la Amada Princesa” is described as a “stunning Contemporary Ocean View Estate Home Perched Atop Playas del Coco”. The 5,605 sq. ft. lavishly furnished and finished modern 4 bedrooms, 5 bathroom luxury home with a commanding 270 degree ocean views from every corner, located in Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, is listed for sale at US$1.8 million dollars.