Vt. argues for 'gradual wind down' of state-run EB-5 center

Published: Sep. 15, 2017 at 4:34 PM EDT
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State officials are making the case for a "gradual wind down" of the Vermont Regional Center, the state-run organization that oversees the federal EB-5 foreign investor program that was at the heart of the Jay Peak scandal.

In a response letter to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service Thursday, officials say that gradually closing the program will provide stability to existing projects and protect economic growth, investors and the local contractors those projects employ. They also say the program was reorganized in 2014 to prevent future fraud.

The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service in August notified the state they want to dissolve the regional center, pointing to the Jay Peak fraud and the center's tarnished reputation.

The Vermont EB-5 Center is currently overseeing four projects including Mount Snow. The resort in June broke ground on the latest of its $52 million in projects. Officials there have said they are in the process of applying to open their own regional center.

A civil lawsuit filed this spring by defrauded foreign investors targets both the Vermont Regional Center and the state employees who ran it.