Investment management company Merrill has agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle allegations over its handling of accounts used related to fraud in northern Vermont developments that involved foreign investors’ money, the state of Vermont announced Friday. The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation alleged that Merrill’s administration of accounts represented potential violations of the Vermont Securities Act. In 2016, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and the state of Vermont accused Ariel Quiros, then owner of Jay Peak, and president William Stenger of taking part in a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme,” misusing more than $200 million of about $400 million raised from foreign investors through the EB-5 visa program. Quiros and Stenger settled civil charges with the SEC, with Quiros surrendering more than $80 million in assets, including Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski areas. Quiros, pleaded guilty in 2020 to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and the concealment of material information and will serve just over eight years in prison. Stenger pleaded guilty to providing false documents and faces up to five years in prison.