Feds keep assets of Raleigh firm, owner locked down amid probe
Posted August 2
Updated September 22
Raleigh, N.C. — The tug-of-war over a Raleigh businessman's assets continues with federal investigators.
Agents with the FBI and the U.S. Department of the Treasury searched the downtown Raleigh offices of VisionQuest Wealth Management and the home of owner Stephen Peters on July 12 as part of an ongoing investigation.
Investigators said during a Wednesday court hearing that they suspect at least four federal crimes have been committed, although no charges have been filed. Prosecutors have seized the Peters' assets to help pay potential victims.
Peters' attorneys and his wife's counsel argued the government's restraining order on their assets is catastrophic to his businesses, and the couple can't meet day-to-day expenses. The attorneys demanded more information about the alleged crimes, but most of the government's case remains sealed by the court.
During the court hearing, prosecutors referred only to financial victims, so property and other assets need to be blocked during the investigation.
"Every dollar that might not be restrained is a dollar that could be paid to a victim," Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen West said.
"We haven't been able to review anything. We are truly flying blind," responded Peters' attorney, Wes Camden.
U.S. District Judge James Dever temporarily extended the government's hold on the money and property until a full hearing is scheduled.
According to the company website, VisionQuest is a wealth management firm for companies and individuals. It also provides business consulting services.
Peters was attempting to raise $14.2 million via debt financing for the company, and the company has reached around $11 million.
His home is at 5237 Theys Road, on the same piece of property as Whispering Hope Stables, an equestrian farm near Lake Wheeler.