A government employee reportedly warned state officials about potential fraud being committed by the owners of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain in 2012. Brent Raymond, who was in charge of the EB-5 program, made multiple recommendations to his superiors to look into the sketchy dealings in the Northeast Kingdom. Raymond’s attempts to investigate the Jay Peak ownership group were repeatedly shot down by his superiors.
Jay Peak and Burke Mountain owners Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger admitted to defrauding Raymond’s EB-5 program. The investment program was set up to give foreign nationals green cards in exchange for investment dollars directed towards the economically depressed portions of Vermont.
“Brent Raymond said he asked the commerce agency secretary to order an independent financial review in May 2012 – after a tipster warned state officials about financial improprieties at Jay Peak.“ – Vermont Digger
To take it a step further, Raymond indicated that former Governor Peter Shumlin’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Alex MacLean, was one of the people he warned about Quiros and Stenger’s scheme. MacLean instructed Raymond to stop digging. Then, Shumlin stuck his neck out to promote the project to foreign investors.
“In 2013, Shumlin appeared in a video that was translated into Chinese, falsely claiming the projects were audited by the state.” – Vermont Digger
This is not a good look. Perhaps Governor Shumlin’s staff didn’t want to listen to Raymond as the proposed project would be enormously beneficial to the great state of Vermont.
This story bears watching. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not there’s another, much larger shoe to drop. This comes at a time where Jay Peak is moving towards an eventual sale by cleaning up the mess that the Ponzi scheme left behind.
Find the entire Vermont Digger article here: EB-5 chief was repeatedly shut down in efforts to audit Jay Peak