Judge rejects effort to move Kingdom Con trial

Published: Jan. 30, 2020 at 1:09 PM EST
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The Kingdom Con trial will take place in Vermont following a ruling in federal court this week in Burlington.

Judge Geoffrey Crawford's ruling came in response to an effort by Ariel Quiros, the alleged mastermind of the massive Northeast Kingdom EB-5 fraud, to move the case to another venue because of negative pretrial media coverage.

The former Jay Peak owner, along with Bill Stenger, William Kelley and Alex Choi, are accused of misleading foreign investors and EB-5 program regulators in order to embezzle tens of millions of dollars from a proposed biotech business in Newport, but according to authorities, was really a bogus plot to line the developers' pockets.

In his ruling, Judge Crawford said that the overall media coverage did not present the kind of "vivid, unforgettable information" that the Supreme Court has recognized as likely to produce prejudice.

All four men have pleaded not guilty to the charges that include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and making false statements.

The trial is scheduled for October in Rutland.