“Faced with the choice of saving immigrants from the loss of their EB-5 investment, or enriching those within the State of Vermont, the Defendants chose the latter, benefitting the state treasury and residents at the expense of unwitting immigrant investors”– Attorney Barr
The EB-5 scandals over the reckless mishandling of money over at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain won’t go away. On Tuesday, multiple investors sued the state of Vermont and numerous state officials over the belief that they were misled into investing in the project. According to the Burlington Free Press, the lawsuit alleges that the investors went towards completing “the hotel at Burke Mountain, to pay Vermont contractors, and to facilitate the tax revenues that the State continues to enjoy today.”
The EB-5 projects involve immigrants paying $500,000 towards a project development in an economically struggling area in order to gain citizenship. Jay Peak and former President Bill Stenger began these projects in Vermont by building multiple hotels, ice hockey rinks, and other facilities at the mountain. The Burke Mountain portion of the investment became a very odd case, and likely destroyed the two projects in the state of Vermont. After being bought by Ariel Quiros, the mountain got renamed QBurke, which is one of the worst name changes of all time. A hotel and convention center was built, but trust with the locals went to an all-time low, partially due to a fracturing of the relationship with Kingdom Trails. Stenger and Quiros were eventually sued and arrested for mishandling over $200 million in funds, and both plead guilty to various crimes. The resorts are still in court-appointed receivership and have not yet been sold to a new buyer.
Image Credits: Burke Mountain