Another chapter of Vermont’s EB-5 scandal, which altered the trajectory of Jay Peak Resort and Burke Mountain Resort, has concluded.

The Associated Press reports that the State of Vermont will pay $16.5 million to settle all current and future lawsuits over their role in the EB-5 situation in the Northeast Kingdom from 2008-2016. The state will also help investors secure green cards. If the green cards are secured, the settlement amount will be reduced by $4 million. This follows a June agreement from the state to pay $750,000 to eight Jay Peak EB-5 investors.

Back in 2008, Jay Peak Resort was bought by a group of investors, which was led by Miami businessman Ariel Quiros. In 2012, they purchased the nearby Burke Mountain Resort.

During the EB-5 era at Jay Peak and Burke, foreign investments that were meant to fund projects in the Northeast Kingdom, in exchange for U.S. citizenship, were misused by Ariel Quiros, former Jay Peak President William Stenger, and others, leading to lawsuits and jail time. While some good things happen to both mountains, like new hotels, an indoor waterpark, lifts, and off-slope activities, they also made a lot of empty promises. The lawsuits alleged that more than $200 million of the $400 million of investments secured were misused by Ariel Quiros, who was the former owner of Jay Peak.

According to Attorney General Charity Clark, the settlement “will resolve all pending and potential lawsuits against the State that have been brought or could be brought by the approximately 850 investors in the Jay Peak EB-5 projects.”

“As I’ve said before, Vermonters, investors, and the State of Vermont were all deceived by the fraud of Ariel Quiros, Bill Stenger, and William Kelly, Attorney General Charity Clark said in the press release. “This civil settlement will bring a global resolution to the State’s involvement in this matter, which will protect the State from additional EB-5 lawsuits, preventing further financial harm to Vermont.”

With these latest developments, it seems like the Northeast Kingdom’s EB-5 saga is nearing its end. Jay Peak Resort was sold to Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. last year after they won it an auction. Burke Mountain Resort is still under a public receivership, but Michael Goldberg, who is the court-appointed receiver for the ski resort, announced in May that they received a bid for it. An auction could follow if another suiter submits a bid, with the sale likely being completed by the end of this year.

Image Credits: Jay Peak Resort, Burke Mountain Resort

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