EB-5

Fresh on the heels of Raymond James Financial’s $150 million dollar settlement with Jay Peak Resort, owner Ariel Quiros has responded to related allegations. 

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Ray Pronto’s story starts simple enough. He left his hometown of Newport and landed in Pennsylvania, in the Pittsburgh area, where he founded a business in title insurance and loan closings. The company grew — a lot.  

Hilary Niles / VPR

The firm Raymond James & Associates has agreed to pay $150 million as part of a settlement announced by state officials late Thursday.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

One year ago, federal and state prosecutors brought securities fraud charges against Jay Peak developers Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger for misusing funds raised through the federal EB-5 immigrant investment program.

Now, the man appointed to run the resorts says he’s close to announcing a deal that will affect everyone involved in the case.

Lisa Rathke / AP

A year ago this week, a wide-reaching scandal was revealed in the Northeast Kingdom surrounding the federal EB-5 program. That damage from the alleged fraud is still unfolding, and new developments continue to surface, including a new lawsuit filed against Jay Peak's former parent company.

Angela Evancie / VPR

This week marks the one year anniversary of federal and state fraud charges brought against Jay Peak. Now one of the resort’s original investors has added a new twist to the ongoing legal saga: He has filed charges against, Saint-Sauveur Valley Resorts, the owner of Jay Peak’s former parent company, Mont Saint-Sauveur International (MSSI).

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

A year after fraud allegations put development projects in the Northeast Kingdom funded by the federal EB-5 immigrant investor program into federal receivership, Newport is taking steps to revive at least one of the stalled projects.

After a lawsuit and months of delay, state officials released new records Wednesday related to Vermont’s oversight of the federal EB-5 foreign investment program, which was allegedly abused by Jay Peak CEO Bill Stenger and owner Ariel Quiros to defraud foreign investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

VTDigger, the non-profit news organization based in Montpelier, has dropped its legal campaign to force state officials to disclose records about how the state managed its oversight of the federal EB-5 foreign investment program.

Clockwise from top left: Lisa Rathke, AP; Andy Duback, AP; Nina Keck, VPR; Jacquelyn Martin, AP; Angela Evancie, VPR.

It's been quite a year. In the final days of 2016, we're reflecting on some of the biggest news stories of the year and looking toward what's next in 2017.

Burke Mountain Academy

Burke Mountain has been named an official development site for the U.S. Ski Team. Burke Mountain Academy announced the agreement, which involves both the school and Burke Mountain resort, on Wednesday.

Mount Snow

The parent company of Mount Snow says it will finally get $52 million through the federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Until Thursday, Jay Peak’s website still included a web page soliciting investments in Jay Peak’s EB-5-funded projects. The page was removed Thursday afternoon after VPR made inquiries about it.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In a floor speech in the U.S. Senate Thursday, Sen. Patrick Leahy called on Congress to either reform the EB-5 immigrant investor program or do away with it all together.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Vermont’s next attorney general will likely inherit one of the highest-profile civil cases in state history, and Republican Deb Bucknam and Democrat TJ Donovan say charges related to a $200 million EB-5 fraud in the Northeast Kingdom would be a priority for their administration.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Scott Milne is renewing his call on Patrick Leahy to release Senate records related to the alleged EB-5 scandals in Jay Peak. Leahy, meanwhile, says he’s growing tired of his opponent’s tactics, and that it’s becoming evident that Milne lacks the grasp of policy needed to be an effective member of Congress.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

When the Northeast Kingdom EB-5 projects came to a halt in light of fraud allegations last spring, Newport was left with an eyesore in the heart of its downtown – where a hotel was supposed to go. But some local artists are changing that eyesore into an attraction.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two major ski resort expansions have stalled in the Deerfield Valley, and for a region that relies on tourism, that means a loss of potential business and visitors.

Lisa Rathke / AP

Tony Sutton, the British car dealer who pieced together suspicions about Jay Peak’s immigrant-funded EB-5 developments, says he was disappointed with the state's response to the information he provided to regulators months before they took action.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Earlier this summer VPR reported that state officials received documentation of alleged fraud at Jay Peak Resort in 2014, a year and a half before filing charges against resort owner Ariel Quiros and president Bill Stenger.

The documentation came from an unusual source: one of the foreign investors in an EB-5 project at Jay Peak. He managed to piece together the alleged fraud before the state’s investigation even began.

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