EB-5

It’s been six years since Democrats swept to power in Montpelier, but they’re facing some unlikely critics as they try to retain it. And the Democratic gubernatorial candidates seeking to replace one of their own say Vermonters have lost faith in government under one-party rule.

Tony Sutton, an EB-5 investor, is suing the State of Vermont for being complicit in multi-million-dollar fraud allegedly perpetrated by those in charge of Jay Peak.
Lisa Rathke / AP

Many foreign investors in Jay Peak’s EB-5 developments are scrambling in the wake of charges that the resort orchestrated a massive securities fraud with their money. But it’s more than just money riding on the outcome for some investors.

Mount Snow

The owner of Mount Snow says its EB-5 foreign investor funded project has been approved. 

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The alleged fraud involving developers in the Northeast Kingdom has put new scrutiny on donations to the Vermont Democratic Party. The party’s three candidates for governor now say the VDP should give up the contributions it received from the man at the center of the scandal.

The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is a beautiful but also hard scrabble part of the state that's seen its share of tough economic times, and that's what's made the latest news on alleged fraud of investors for two of the region's big mountain resort and hotels so disheartening.

Steve Legge / AP file

The business executive running two Northeast Kingdom ski resorts involved in a federal fraud investigation says both businesses have enough money to stay viable for the time being.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

Two weeks ago, shockwaves struck the Northeast Kingdom. The offices of Jay Peak and Q Burke were raided because of alleged improprieties involving the misuse of EB-5 funds.

So how has the news affected the psyche and the economic hopes of the region?

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin and his top commerce official visited Jay Peak Wednesday to ease concerns about the future of that resort as well as Q Burke and other developments in the area funded by the federal EB-5 program.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Allegations of fraud at multiple developments in the Northeast Kingdom have raised major questions about the future of those projects and the jobs they were supposed to create, and Northeast Kingdom residents weren't the only ones counting on those jobs. For foreign investors who used the federal EB-5 program to fund the projects and pay their way into the United States, the alleged fraud could jeopardize their immigration status.

nicholas belton / iStock.com

The Jay Peak fraud allegations have drawn attention to a visa program for foreign investors called EB-5, by which a foreign citizen who invests $500,000 in a U.S. business can receive a green card. And if that has you thinking, 'Really? That's a legal path to immigration?' then you're not the only one.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Shumin administration says it plans to release tens of thousands of emails that it sought permission to delete several weeks ago.

The administration says any emails related to an investigation of alleged fraud with the state's EB-5 program were previously separated out and were never slated to be destroyed.

A downtown Newport development project is in doubt following fraud allegations against the project developers. State and local officials met this week to talk more about the project's future but few answers were found.

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Of all the alleged EB-5 frauds perpetrated by Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, none was as grand in scale as the case of AnC Bio. 

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

The fate of a proposed redevelopment project in downtown Newport – halted since March – is now even less clear following allegations of fraud against two Northeast Kingdom developers, Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros.  

Mary Altaffer / AP

Virtually every prominent Vermont politician condemned the alleged multimillion-dollar fraud in the Northeast Kingdom after federal authorities charged the developers last week, but Vermonters have yet to hear what Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks about it – or how he might vote on a key reform bill.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’s looking forward to next week after Hillary Clinton beat him by about 15 percent of the vote in the New York primary Tuesday.

“Today we took Secretary Clinton on in her own state of New York and we lost,” Sanders said to reporters after landing in Burlington Tuesday night. “I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victory.”

Courtesy of Vermont Department of Financial Regulation

The bombshell allegations last week surrounding development projects in the Northeast Kingdom point to a $200 hundred million scheme to defraud investors. On the next Vermont Edition, Vermont's top financial regulator Commissioner Susan Donegan explains what happened at Q Burke and Jay Peak ski resorts.

Alleged EB-5  fraudsters Ariel Quiros (left) and Bill Stenger (at podium) have settled a federal lawsuit.
Vermont Business Magazine

Federal authorities launched an investigation into Jay Peak’s EB-5 projects nearly a year before state officials had their first inkling that something illegal was afoot. And documents on file at the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate that the agency had strong forensic evidence of a massive fraud well before the changes in state regulatory oversight that Gov. Peter Shumlin now credits for taking down the “Ponzi-like” scheme.

The Shumlin administration sought Monday to disassociate its request to delete the emails of five former staffers from a major civil fraud case revealed last week against two developers in the Northeast Kingdom who used a foreign investor program overseen by the state to raise capital.

There are many actors in the Jay Peak/Q-Burke tragedy playing out on our Northern Vermont stage.

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