State settles with some foreign investors scammed in Kingdom Con

Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 3:38 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2023 at 5:57 PM EDT
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HYDE PARK, Vt. (WCAX) - The state of Vermont has reached a settlement in the Kingdom Con. Just two days into the trial against the state by a group of foreign EB-5 investors, the sides will settle.

In Lamoille County Court on Thursday, the state reached a settlement with a group of eight plaintiffs who lost money and opportunities for green cards in the EB-5 scandal.

There are more than two dozen plaintiffs involved in this case who claim state officials knew something was off, but failed to act.

The massive Ponzi scheme to rebuild Jay Peak, Burke Mountain and the Newport area was fueled by $200 million in foreign investor money as part of the federal EB-5 green card program.

But prosecutors say the money was misused or stolen by the developers.

The lawsuit claims the state intentionally kept quiet, allowing more investors to be defrauded so that construction projects already underway could continue.

I reached out to Attorney General Charity Clark for an interview but instead received this statement: “Vermonters, investors, and the State of Vermont were all deceived by the fraudulent promises made by Ariel Quiros, Bill Stenger, and William Kelly – who have since answered for their crimes in the justice system. We are pleased to have reached a partial resolution in this longstanding civil case.”

There’s no word yet on the exact terms of that settlement.

I reached out to attorney Russell Barr who is representing the plaintiffs but had not yet heard back when this story was published.

We also don’t yet know what this settlement means for other groups of investors who have sued. This is just one of four groups suing the state.

The next jury trial in this case is scheduled for Dec. 5 in Lamoille County.

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