Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy says recent federal fraud charges have shaken his confidence in what was once praised as the most successful EB-5 project in Vermont.
Leahy has long supported the EB-5 program, which allows foreign investors to gain legal residency after investing at least $500,000 in U.S. development projects.
Now Leahy says Jay Peak resort president Bill Stenger and his partner Ariel Quiros, who allegedly misused investments funds for development projects in the Northeast Kingdom, deceived state officials.
“I feel very betrayed by what happened; I feel terribly betrayed by it, by Stenger and his partner,” Leahy said on Vermont Edition Wednesday. “This is not what it was told to people in past administrations and this administration. It was not the way it was described to them.”
The pair have been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding foreign investors. But Leahy says the state has benefited from the EB-5 program, including a successful project at the Sugarbush ski resort.
Read the live tweets from Wednesday's Vermont Edition: