YCQM May 26, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> Darren: GOOD MORNING, I'M
DARREN PERRON.
WE WILL GET BACK TO OUR
MARATHON COVERAGE IN JUST A
MOMEN BUT FIRST, HERE'S
WHAT'S COMING UP ON YOU CAN
QUOTE ME.
THE KINGDOM CON FINALLY
CHARGES FILED IN VERMONT'S
LARGEST FRAUD CASE EVER.
HEAR FROM THE U.S. ATTORNEY
FOR VERMONT, AND WE'VE GOT
TEAM COVERAGE OF THE EVENTS
THAT UNFOLDED THIS PAST WEEK,
AND THE INVESTIGATION LEADING
UP TO THE INDICTMENTS.
FIRST, BACK TO MARATHON
SUNDAY.
AS YOU SAW, THOUSANDS OF
RUNNERS POUNDING THE PAVEMENT
IN BURLINGTON RIGHT NOW.
THEY KNOW WHERE THEY ARE
GOING, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REST
OF US?
8,000 RUNNERS, 1700
VOLUNTEERS, AND COUNTLESS
SPECTATORS ARE CHEERING ON
FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
THE MARATHON IS THE BIGGEST
PARTY OF THE YEAR HERE, AND IT
CAN BE TOUGH TO NAVIGATE.
BURLINGTON POLICE SAY IF
YOU'RE COMING DOWNTOWN TO
WATCH THE ACTION, PLAN AHEAD.
>> LOOK AT A COURSE MAP THAT'S
READILY AVAILABLE ONLINE OR
NEWS OUTLETS.
LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, AND
LOOK WHAT TIMES, ROUGHLY,
RUNNERS WILL BE, AND YOU MIGHT
WANT TO GET IN SOME PLACES A
LOT EARLIER THAN WHEN YOUR
FRIENDS OR FAMILY ARE GOING TO
BE RUNNING BY, BECAUSE OF THE
TRAFFIC.
AND THE ROAD CLOSURES.
>> TRAFFIC WILL BE A LITTLE
DIFFERENT ON SUNDAY MORNING.
EXPECT DELAYS, ESPECIALLY IN
THE VICINITY OF PINE, NORTH
AVENUE, AND ANYWHERE IN THE
VICINITY OF CHURCH STREET.
>> Darren: ANOTHER TIP FROM
POLICE: IF YOU ARE TRYING TO
GO FROM THE CITY'S NEW NORTH
END TO THE SOUTH END, DRIVE
THROUGH CHOEL COLCHESTER
INSTEAD.
SEVERANCE CORNERS, GO RIGHT ON
ROUTE 2, AND TAKE THAT ALL THE
WAY INTO THE CITY.
ALSO, THE BURLINGTON BIKE PATH
IS CLOSED TO EVERYONE BUT
RUNNERS.
GOOD NEWS: SERGEANT SAID
DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON EAST OF
BATTERY STREET WILL THE PRETTY
MUCH CLEARED OUT BY 10:00 A.M.
BURLINGTON POLICE SAY THEIR
TOP PRIORITY IS FOR THIS RACE
TO GO SMOOTHLY.
AND FOR EVERYONE TO HAVE A
GOOD TIME.
THEY ALSO WANT YOU TO KNOW
THAT THE CITY WILL BE SWARMING
WITH COPS.
>> WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
OFFICERSES IN OVERWATCH
POSITIONS DOING SURVEILLANCE,
AND YOU WILL PROBABLY SEE SOME
OFFICERS OUT IN OUR EMERGENCY
RESPONSE VEHICLE.
WE HAVE MULTIPLE PARTNERS FROM
THE VERMONT STATE POLICE, WHO
ARE GOING TO BE THERE WITH
THEIR BOMB SQUAD, AND WITH
OTHER TACTICAL UNITS, TO OTHER
PARTNERS IN THE VERMONT
INTELLIGENCE CENTER, OR VIC,
WHO GIVE US INTELLIGENCE FEEDS
ON ANY KNOWN THREATS.
I'M HAPPY TO SAY THERE ARE
CURRENTLY NONE.
>> Darren: POLICE ALSO
REMINDING EVERYONE THAT THEY
HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO BAG
CHECKS AT THIS EVENT.
ONE WAY TO AVOID THAT, PUT
YOUR BELONGINGS IN A CLEAR
PLASTIC BAG.
AND TO TALK MORE ABOUT TODAY'S
RACE, I'M JOINED NOW BY RUN
VERMONT'S DIRECTOR OF
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS,
JESS COVER.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: ANY LAST-MINUTE
CONCERNS HERE?
>> AT THIS POINT WE HAVE
EVERYTHING SET.
YOU KNOW, WE WORK WITH THE
CITY, WE WORK WITH ALL OF OUR
PARTNERS.
AS YOU HEARD, YOU KNOW,
CERTAINLY WORK WITH THE
POLICE, AND IF THE RUNNERS ARE
READY, WE'RE READY.
>> Darren: SO THIS EVENT, THE
VERMONT CITY MARATHON, HAS
REALLY BEEN EMBRACED BY THIS
COMMUNITY.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
>> IT'S HARD TO SAY THE WHY,
BUT IT'S FOR REAL.
I RAN THE COURSE MYSELF, 26.2
ON THURSDAY MORNING, AND AS I
WAS RUNNING BY THE
NEIGHBORHOODS AND NORTH END
NEIGHBORHOODS ARE INFAMOUS,
AND PEOPLE WERE CHEERING FOR
ME.
THEY ARE LIKE, GOOD LUCK IN
THE MARATHON ON SUNDAY!
WE'RE READY FOR YOU!"
I THINK IT BRINGS A LOT TO UNT
THE COMMUNITY.
IF YOU ARE FIVE YEARS OLD,
FIFTY YEARS OLD OR EIGHTY
YEARS OLD, THERE'S SOMETHING
FOR YO
>> Darren: SPEAKING OF
BRINGING A LOT TO THE
COMMUNITY, THIS IS A HUGE
FINANCIAL BOOST FOR THE AREA.
>> YES.
IT BRINGS THE ESTIMATE IS
ABOUT $3.5 MILLION OVER
MARATHON WEEKEND, MEMORIAL DAY
WEEKEND TO THE BURLINGTON
COMMUNITY.
>> Darren: WE ARE TALKING
PEOPLE EATING AND STAYING
OVER, AND, YOU KNOW, ALSO,
THAT CAN HAVE A TRICKLE-DOWN
EFFECT IN THAT THEY LIKE
BURLINGTON, THEY SEE IT, THEY
ARE COMING BACK.
>> IN A IS FOR SURE.
-- THAT IS FOR SURE.
WE HEAR FROM A LOT OF PEOPLE.
"WE BRING THE FAMILY, OUR
FRIENDS."
THEY COME BACK FOR THE
MARATHON OR FOLIAGE OR
SOMETHING ELSE.
>> Darren: IS PREPARING FOR
THE VERMONT CITY MARATHON A
YEAR-LONG EVENT?
DO YOU BEGIN GETTING READY FOR
THE NEXT ONE AS SOON AS THIS
ONE IS OVER TODAY?
>> YES.
WE ARE FOUR FULL-TIME STAFF
AND ANOTHER FOUR PART-TIME
SEASONAL STAFF.
SO IT'S CERTAINLY YEAR-ROUND.
ACTUALLY REALLY AN 18-MONTH
CYCLE.
WE ALREADY STARTED PLANNING
FOR 2020, AND THEN WE'LL PUT
THE MARATHON BACK IN THE BOX,
AND MOVE FORWARD.
>> Darren: WHAT'S INVOLVED IN
GETTING A RACE OF THIS SIZE
TOGETHER?
>> IN A FEW HOURS?
[ LAUGHTER ]
AGAIN, IT IS WORKING WITH ALL
OF OUR PARTNERS, AND, YOU
KNOW, WHAT DO THE RUNNERS NEED
FOR FOOD, WHAT ARE THE SAFETY
CONCERNS, YOU KNOW, DESIGNING
THE SHIRT, DESIGNING TONS OF
LITTLE DETAILS AND THE BIG
PICTURE.
>> Darren: DO YOU RELY, YOU
MENTIONED THE NORTH END OF
BURLINGTON, AND, YOU KNOW, I'M
OUT THERE, GOES RIGHT BY MY
HOUSE AS WELL.
UNFORTUNATELY ONE YEAR IT WAS
SO HOT WE WERE SPRAYING PEOPLE
DOWN WITH THE HOSE.
DO YOU RELY ON THAT COMMUNITY
SUPPORT ALONG THE ROUTE AS
WELL, PEOPLE HANDING OUT
STUFF, ENCOURAGING RUNNERS IN
THIS EVENT.
>> YES.
WE FOR SURE HAVE EVERYTHING
OFFICIALLY THAT THE RUNNERS
WOULD NEED.
WE HAVE 21 AID STATIONS AND
ALL THE SFRUT AND ALL THAT,
BUT -- FRUIT AND ALL THAT.
ITS THAT FEELING, THE VIBE THE
COMMUNITY CREATES THAT WE
CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT THEM.
>> Darren: SO LET'S TALK ABOUT
SOME OF THE VOLUNTEERS I
MENTIONED.
1700 WHO HAVE ALREADY STEPPED
FORWARD.
ARE THEY PARTICIPATING TODAY.
-- THEY ARE PARTICIPATING
TODAY.
ARE A LOT OF FOLKS REPEATS?
DO THEY HAVE SUCH A GOOD TIME
THEY COME BACK EVERY YEAR?
>> CERTAINLY.
WE HAVE FOLKS WHO HAVE
VOLUNTEERED WITH US EVERY
YEAR, AND THERE'S FOLKS,
PROBABLY 50%, I WOULD SAY, ARE
RETURNING VOLUNTEERS.
AND THERE'S FOLKS THAT STARTED
WHEN THEY WERE REALLY YOUNG
WITH THEIR PARENTS.
NOW THEY ARE ON WHAT WE CALL
MARATHON COMMAND.
AND MAKING IT HAPPEN.
>> Darren: YOU ARE ALWAYS
LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS.
AND WHY IS THAT, IS THERE JUST
NEVER ENOUGH PEOPLE TO PUT ON
SOMETHING LIKE THIS?
>> AGAIN, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A
SMALL STAFF, AND IT'S 26.2
MILES.
THAT COVERS A LOT OF GROUND.
TO KEEP OUR RUNNERS SAFE, THE
BIG THING IS AID STATIONS, AND
ALL THE COURSE MONITORS, THAT
TAKES UP A LOT OF BODIES.
>> Darren: WHY DO YOU THINK
THIS RACE IS DIFFERENT.
WHY WHAT REALLY SETS IT APART.
THERE ARE MARATHONS ALL OVER
THE COUNTRY, ALL OVER NEW
ENGLAND.
THERE'S OTHER ONES IN OUR
REGION.
>> MM-HMM.
>> Darren: WHAT MAKES THE
VERMONT CITY MARATHON SO
DIFFERENT?
>> I THINK IT'S PERFECT IN
THAT IT'S BIG ENOUGH THAT YOU
GET THE FEELING, BUT IT'S
SMALL ENOUGH THAT YOU DON'T
HAVE THE MAJOR HASSLE OF SOME
OF THE MAJOR MARATHONS.
SO THAT COMBINATION WITH THE
COMMUNITY SUPPORT, JUST BRINGS
IT ALL TOGETHER.
>> Darren: VERY QUICKLY, THERE
WAS A COUPLE CHANGES TO THE
COURSE, INCLUDING THE FINISH
LINE IN A DIFFERENT LOCATION.
WHY IS THAT?
>> WE, PARKS AND REC GOT A
LITTLE BEHIND ON SCHEDULE AND
WATERFRONT PARK, SO WE HAVE
CONTINGENCY PLANS.
WE SHIFTED BACK TO THE FINISH
LINE FROM A FEW YEARS AGO,
MADE SOME MINOR TWEAKS, AND
WE'RE GOOD TO GO.
>> Darren: JESS COVER, THANK
YOU SO MUCH.
APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.
>> THANK YOU.
>> Darren: COMING UP NEXT, WE
MEET THE PACE SETTERS IN THE
RATION.
PLUS, THE TEAM THAT'S RUNNING
FOR SPARE BODY PARTS.
WE'LL EXPLAIN.
LATER, INVESTIGATORS SAY THEY
SWINDLED MILLIONS OUT OF
FOREIGN INVESTORS.
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE
KINGDOM CON.
>> Darren: AMONG THE RUNNERS
IN TODAY'S MARATHON, PEOPLE
HOLDING SIGNINGS WITH NUMBERS
ON THEM.
IT'S THE VCM PACE TEAM.
AND A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO,
MEMBERS OF THAT TEAM MET WITH
SOME RUNNERS IT SKI-RACK IN
BURLINGTON, AND SCOTT
FLEISHMAN WAS THERE, TOO.
[ CHEERING ]
>> THE FOUR-HOUR MARATHON.
>> IT'S A ROUND-SOUNDING
NUMBER.
>> FOR THE AVERAGE RUNNER, IT
IS ABOUT AS ELUSIVE AS THE
PERFECT SPRING DAY IN VERMONT.
FEWER THAN 25% OF MARATHONERS
HAVE BROKEN THE BARRIER.
>> IT'S AN INTERESTING TIMING
SPACE FOR PEOPLE.
>> IF YOU FEEL LIKE TAKING ON
THE CHALLENGE.
>> ONE PERSON WILL HAVE THE
TIME, ONE WILL DROP BACK.
>> TOVMS NUOVO WILL HELP YOU
GET THERE.
>> THIS IS HIS EIGHTH TIME
PACING THE FOUR-HOUR GROUP AT
THE VCM.
>> WE LIKE TO TALK TO THEM AND
GIVE THEM, YOU KNOW, KEEP THEM
MOTIVATED TO GOING, YOU KNOW,
ASK ABOUT HOW THEY ARE DOING,
GIVE THEM ANY ADVICE WE CAN
WHILE WE'RE RUNNING.
>> REALLY VALUABLE FOR
EVERYBODY.
>> JIM RUDOLPH IS LOOKING TO
FINISH HIS THIRD VCM IN THREE
HOURS, 30 MINUTES.
>> WE'LL SEE IF THAT'S TOO
AMBITIOUS.
>> THE PACE SETTERS MAKE IT
LESS DAUNTING.
>> IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOME SORT
OF YARDSTICK TO KEEP YOU
SLOWER THAN YOUR BODY WANTS TO
START OFF WITH, IT'S REAL EASY
TO BLOW UP.
>> FROM THE WATER STATION
VOLUNTEERS ... TO THE FANS,
AND YOUR SNEAKERS' CUSHION,
THERE'S PLENTY OF SUPPORT ON
MARATHON DAY.
>> PACE TEAM LEADERS RAISE
YOUR HAND.
>> BUT NO ONE MAY PREVENT YOU
FROM GETTING MORE HAMSTRUNG
THAN THE PACE SETTERS.
>> PEOPLE COME TO ME
AFTERWARDS THANKING ME FOR
KEEPING THEM MOTIVATED.
ESPECIALLY AT THE END OF THE
RATION.
>> WHOO-HOO!
>> WHOO!
>> SOME RUNNERS ARE FOCUSED ON
THEIR TIME; MANY ARE LOOKING
TO PROVE THEY CAN FINISH.
PLENTY ARE JUST THERE FOR FUN.
BUT FIVE RELAY RUNNERS AND THE
ORGANIZER OF THEIR TEAM ARE
LOOKING TO USE THE RACE AS A
PLATFORM FOR SOMETHING BIGGER.
JACK FITZSIMMONS CATCHES UP
WITH THEM.
>> FOR UNDERHILL'S JIM CARTER,
A PERSONAL TRAGEDY NEARLY 30
YEARS AGO SERVED AS THE
CATALYST TO DEDICATE HIS LIFE
TO HELPING OTHERS.
>> I DO ALL OF THIS REALLY IN
HONOR OF OUR DAUGHTER, ANDREA,
WHEN SHE WAS IN A CAR CRASH IN
JERICHO AND DONATED CORNEAS,
HEART, LIVER AND KIDNEYS.
>> IN THE YEARS SINCE HER
PASSING, JIM HAS BECOME
HEAVILY INVOLVED WITH THE
TRANSPLANT DONOR NETWORK IN
THE STATE OF VERMONT AND
REGULARLY VISITS HIGH SCHOOLS
TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO
REGISTER AS ORGAN DONORS.
YEARS AGO, HE AND OTHERS CAME
UP WITH ANOTHER IDEA TO HELP
RAISE AWARENESS.
>> SEVERAL YEARS AGO WE SAID,
YOU KNOW, THERE'S A NUMBER OF
VERY ACTIVE PEOPLE IN OUR
GROUP.
HE MAYBE WE SHOULD GET A TEAM
IN THE MARATHON.
>> THEY CALLED THEIR
TEAM "SPARE PARTS."
EIGHT YEARS LATER IT IS STILL
GOING STRONG.
>> I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH ABOUT A
YEAR AGO TO DONATE A KIDNEY TO
MY FATHER.
>> WHEN I WAS A BABY, I WAS
DIAGNOSED WITH A DISEASE.
MY LIVER SUCKED AT BEING A
LIVER AND I NEEDED A NEW ONE
QUICKLY.
MY DAD STEPPED UP TO THE
PLATE.
>> ALEX WINEL OF BURLINGTON
AND ALEX CABOT ARE TWO OF THE
FIVE RUNNERS ON THE TEAM.
ROUGHLY 20 WHO HAVE RUN FOR
SPARE PARTS OVER THE YEARS.
THEY BOTH ARE EXCITED TO HELP
BRING AWARENESS TO A CAUSE
NEAR AND DEAR TO THEM.
>> WHEN YOUR DAD OR HUSBAND IS
ON THE COUCH DOING DIALYSIS
FOUR, FIVE TIMES A DAY, HE
CAN'T REALLY LIVE.
MY EXPERIENCE WAS PHENOMENAL,
BUT IT'S ALSO BROUGHT ME MORE
INTO THE TRANSPLANT COMMUNITY
IN GENERAL.
>> A LOT OF THE TIME PEOPLE
JUST DON'T KNOW ABOUT ORGAN
DONATION, SO THE FACT THAT WE
GET TO GET THAT MESSAGE OUT
THERE, IT IS A REALLY GOOD
THING TO BE A PART OF.
>> TABLER IS RIGHT.
ACCORDING TO DONATE LIFE
VERMONT, 22 PEOPLE IN THE
UNITED STATES DIE EVERY DAY
WHILE WAITING ON ORGAN
TRANSPLANTS.
BUT ACCORDING TO JIM, THE
STATE OF VERMONT IS MAKING
HUGE STRIDES IN THAT
DEPARTMENT.
>> FIVE YEARS AGO IT WAS LESS
THAN 5% OF VERMONTERS SIGNED
UP TO BE ORGAN DOAN
ORGANIZATION.
LATEST COUNT, NOW 56%.
WE'VE GONE FROM 20,000
VERMONTERS SIGNED UP FIVE
YEARS AGO, TO OVER 360,000
NOW.
>> HE SAYS THAT'S LARGELY
THANKS TO A CONCERTED EFFORT
BY FORMER DMV COMMISSIONER ROB
IDE TO REGISTER DRIVERS.
>> I THINK MAYBE THE SPARE
PARTS TEAM IS JUST A SMALL
PART OF THAT.
>> AS FOR THE RACE ITSELF,
BOTH ALEX AND TAYLOR SAY THEY
HAVE THEIR WORK CUT OUT FOR
THEM.
>> I AM RUNNING 5.7 MILES.
>> IS THAT SOMETHING YOU FEEL
COMFORTABLE WITH?
READY TO GO?
>> NOT AT ALL.
WE ARE JUST GOING TO TAKE IT
ONE STEP AT A TIME.
>>
>> GOT A FUNNY TWIST.
I HAVE A TORN RIGHT LATERAL
MENISCUS.
IT ONLY AFFECTS THE CUTTING
AND ANYTHING, SO I AM GOING TO
TAKE IT RELATIVELY EASY.
I'M SURE WHEN THE TIME COMES
I'LL WANT TO RUN PRETTY HARD.
>> LOOKING FORWARD TO ALEX
SPRINTING THE WHOLE WAY.
AND THEN TAYLOR, WATCHING HER
SPRINT THE WHOLE WAY.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> THEY ARE HOPEFUL THEY CAN
CONVINCE A FEW OF THE OTHER
RUNNERS AND SPECTATORS TO
REGISTER AS WELL.
IN BURLINGTON, JACK
FITZSIMMONS, CHANNEL 3 SPORTS.
>> Darren: COMING UP NEXT,
WILL CHARGES FINALLY BEGIN TO
HELP NEWPORT HEAL FROM THE
KINGDOM CON.
YOU'RE WATCHING CHANNEL 3,
"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
WE'RE BACK IN A MOMENT.
>> Darren: THE OTHER SHOE
DROPS IN THE KINGDOM CON.
FOUR MEN FACE FEDERAL CHARGES
IN THE LARGEST FRAUD CASE IN
VERMONT HISTORY.
TARGETING FOREIGN INVESTORS
WITH THE PROMISE OF DEVELOPING
SITES, IN JAY, BURKE, AND
NEWPORT.
AND IT IS IN NEWPORT WHERE
YOU'LL FIND THIS.
A HOLE IN THE HEART OF
DOWNTOWN.
THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN
REDEVELOPED AS PART OF THE BIG
PLAN.
BUT FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS SAY
IT WAS ALL A SCHEME.
NOW ARIEL QUIROS, BILL STENGER
AND TWO BUSINESS PARTNERS FACE
BROAD ALLEGATIONS.
THEY ARE ACCUSED OF MISLEADING
FOREIGN INVESTORS AND EB5
PROGRAM REGULATORS IN ORDER TO
EMBEZZLE TENS OF MILLIONS FROM
A PROPOSED BIOTECH BUSINESS IN
NEWPORT.
THAT BUSINESS NEVER BUILT,
CALLED AnC BIO VERMONT,
PROMISED HUNDREDS OF JOBS, IN
STEM CELL AND ARTIFICIAL ORGAN
RESEARCH AND WOULD HAVE
OFFERED CLEAN ROOM RENTAL
SPACE.
BUT THE U.S. ATTORNEY FOR
VERMONT SAID IT WAS ALL BOGUS
TO LINE THE DEVELOPER'S
POCKETS.
>> NO SUCH BUSINESSES.
NO SUCH BUSINESSES WERE EVER
FEASIBLE AT ANSI VERMONT --
AnC BIO IN THE TIME THE
DEFENDANTS CLAIMED AND THEY
KNEW IT.
PUT SIMPLY, THE DEFENDANTS
DEVISED AND STOOD BY A BOGUS
BUSINESS PLAN WHILE THEY MADE
LITTLE EFFORT TO FORMULATE A
LEGITIMATE BUSINESS PLAN.
THE DEFENDANTS TOUTED AND SOLD
THE PROJECT AS A WAY TO BRING
MUCH-NEEDED JOBS TO THE
NORTHEAST KINGDOM.
VERMONTERS IN THE NORTHEAST
KINGDOM AND ACROSS THE STATE,
INCLUDING SOME POLICYMAKERS,
WERE UNDERSTANDABLY APPLAUDED
THAT GOAL.
BUT THE DEFENDANTS LIED, AND
THEY CHEATED.
VERMONTERS ARE TRUSTING
PEOPLE.
THEY WERE UNDERSTANDABLY
ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THE
DEFENDANT'S PROMISED JOB
CREATION IN THIS PART OF THE
STATE.
BUT THE DEFENDANTS ENGAGED IN
DECEPTION AND PROMISES WERE
BROKEN.
IT IS WRONG, AND WE HOPE THAT
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF TODAY'S
GRAND JURY INDICTMENT IS A
STEP TOWARD WRITING THAT
WRONG.
AND SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR
VERMONTERS TO KNOW THAT WE ARE
GOING TO SEEK TO HOLD PEOPLE
CRIMINALLY ACCOUNTABLE WHEN
BIG FRAUD HAPPENS, EVEN IN OUR
SMALL STATE.
>> Darren: THREE OF THE FOUR
MEN NAMED IN THE KINGDOM CON
INDICTMENT APPEARED IN FEDERAL
COURT WEDNESDAY.
ALL THREE OF THEM PLEADED NOT
GUILTY TO THE CHARGES.
THAT INCLUDES CONSPIRACY TO
COMMIT WIRE FRAUD, WIRE FRAUD,
AND MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS.
ATTORNEYS FOR ARIEL QUIROS AND
BILL STENGER SPOKE WITH OUR
DOM AMATO ON THEIR WAY OUT OF
COURT.
>> BILL STENGER HAS LIVED IN
THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM FOR 35
YEARS.
HE'S DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO THE
IMPROVEMENT OF VERMONT AND THE
NORTHEAST KINGDOM.
>> DEFENSE ATTORNEY BROOKS MK
ARTHUR SPOKE ON BEHALF OF BILL
STENGER OUTSIDE OF THE FEDERAL
COURTHOUSE IN BURLINGTON
WEDNESDAY MORNING.
>> THERE IS IN THE STRONGEST
POSSIBLE WAY WE CAN SAY IT A
DENIAL THAT HE ENGAGED IN ANY
CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AT ALL.
>> McARTHUR CLAIMS HIS CLIENT
HAD NO MOTIVE TO ENGAGE IN THE
SCHEME.
70-YEAR-OLD STENGER, WHO
WALKED INTO THE COURTROOM IN
HANDCUFFS, FACES 10 CHARGES,
INCLUDING WIRE FRAUD, AND
MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS.
ACCORDING TO COURT PAPERWORK,
STENGER WAS IN CHARGE OF
RECRUITING INVESTORS, AND
USING HIS CONNECTIONS IN
VERMONT TO GARNER SUPPORT FROM
LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL
POLITICIANS.
>> HE WANTED TO BRING JOBS.
HE WANTED TO BRING ECONOMIC
VITALITY, AND THERE IS SIMPLY
ZERO EVIDENCE THAT HE
BENEFITED IN ANY WAY FROM
ENGAGING IN THE ALLEGATIONS
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS PUT
FORTH.
>> COURT DOCUMENTS ALLEGE THAT
STENGER WAS IN ON THE PLANNING
OF THE FRAUD AND SET TO
RECEIVE $1 MILLION AS PART OF
THE SCHEME.
63-YEAR-OLD ARIEL QUIROS OF
MIAMI ALSO IN HANDCUFFS
WALKING INTO THE COURTROOM.
HE IS PAINTED AS THE
DECISION-MAKER OF KINGDOM CON.
QUIROS MACES THE SAME
CHARGES -- FACES THE SAME
CHARGES, TWO ADDITIONAL MONEY
LAUNDERING CHARGES.
>> WE WON'T MAKE MUCH OF A
COMMENT ON THIS CASE.
WE WILL SAY IT SHOULD NEVER
HAVE BEEN BROUGHT, AND THE
FACT IS THAT THE STORY, THE
FULL STORY, HAS NOT BEEN TOLD
BY THE GOVERNMENT.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE TRUTH
COMING OUT.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO
MR. QUIROS'S VINDICATION.
>> PROSECUTORS SAY THE SCHEME
INVOLVED THE EMBEZZLEMENT OF
THE EB-5 FUNDS INSTEAD OF
BUILDING THE BIOMEDICAL
RESEARCH PARK.
THE FEDS SAY SOME OF THE MONEY
WAS FUNNELED IN THE POCKETS OF
QUIROS FOR HIS OWN USE AND TO
ANOTHER MAN, SOUTH KOREA-BASED
BUSINESSMAN, ALEX CHOI.
FROM 2012 TO 2016, OVER $80
MILLION WAS OBTAINED FROM OVER
160 IMMIGRANT INVESTORS.
>> OUR BUSINESS PARTNER AND
ADVISOR TO QUIROS, WILLIAM
KELLY, ALSO PLEADED NOT GUILTY
TO MULTIPLE CHARGES.
AND ANOTHER MAN, THE QUOTE,
HIDDEN PARTNER, ALEX CHOI OF
SOUTH KOREA, ALSO FACES
SIMILAR CHARGES.
HE WAS NOT IN COURT ON
WEDNESDAY.
ACCORDING TO PROSECUTORS, HE
IS STILL AT LARGE.
KELLY, QUIROS, AND STENGER,
WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE THEIR
CASES HEARD BY A JUDGE IN
RUTLAND.
IN BURLINGTON, DOM AMATO
CHANNEL 3 NEWS.
>> Darren: THE NORTHEAST
KINGDOM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
AND THE EB-5 FRAUD SCANDAL IS
A STORY ABOUT NUMBERS.
MANY OF THEM ARE REALLY BIG
NUMBERS.
THE KIND WE DON'T TALK ABOUT
IN VERMONT VERY OFTEN.
HERE'S ROGER GARRITY.
>> LET'S START WITH THE MONEY.
$450 MILLION.
THAT'S HOW MUCH THE FEDS SAY
QUIROS AND STENGER RAISED FROM
EB-5 INVESTORS FOR THE NEK
PROJECTS.
$200 MILLION.
THAT'S THE AMOUNT THE SEC SAYS
WAS MISSPENT IN A PONZI-LIKE
SCHEME.
THE SHIFTING OF FUNDS FROM ONE
PROJECT TO COVER EXPENSES ON
ANOTHER.
AND $50 MILLION, THE AMOUNT
THE SEC SAID QUIROS DIVERTED
FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL USE
THROUGH A COMPLEX WEB OF
FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS.
ALL OF THAT MONEY WAS RAISED
THROUGH THE EB-5 VISA PROGRAM.
FOREIGN INVESTORS PUT UP
$500,000 EACH IN EXCHANGE FOR
A GREEN CARD AND THE HOPE OF
PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THE
UNITED STATES.
INVESTIGATORS SAY SOME 800
INVESTORS, FROM 74 DIFFERENT
COUNTRIES ALL AROUND THE
WORLD, BOUGHT INTO THE NEK
PROJECTS.
BUT BECAUSE THE PLUG WAS
PULLED WHEN THE ALLEGED FRAUD
WAS UNCOVERED, AN ESTIMATED
400 OF THOSE INVESTORS HAVE
NEVER GOTTEN THEIR GREEN
CARDS.
THE OTHER BIG NUMBER TO
CONSIDER, 10,000.
THAT'S THE NUMBER OF JOBS THE
DEVELOPERS PROMISED TO CREATE
IN THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM.
>> Darren: THERE IS NO CLEAR
AGREEMENT ON EXACTLY HOW MANY
OF THOSE JOBS WERE ACTUALLY
CREATED.
PERHAPS A COUPLE OF THOUSAND.
BUT MANY OF THEM WERE NOT
PERMANENT.
AND THAT IS THE REAL
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE KINGDOM
CON FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
REMINDED OF THE FAILED PROMISE
OF EB-5 EVERY DAY.
>> BREATHTAKING SIGHTS LIKE
THIS ABOUND IN VERMONT'S
NORTHEAST KINGDOM.
LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG SPLASHES THE
SHORES OF DOWNTOWN NEWPORT.
YOU WOULD THINK VISTAS LIKE
THIS WOULD BE A BIG BONUS FOR
STEVE BREAULT'S MAIN STREET
CAFÉ.
BUT FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW,
THIS HAS BEEN HIS VIEW.
>> IT'S BEEN A DETRIMENT.
IT'S DEFINITELY HURT OUR
SALES.
>> A HOLE IN THE HEART OF
NEWPORT.
THE MOST VISIBLE SCARF THE
EB-5 SCANDAL.
>> THERE WAS BUSINESSES AND
APARTMENTS THERE, AND NOW
THERE'S JUST WEEDS AND TREES
GROWING 20 FEET HIGH.
>> AN ENTIRE BLOCK WAS TORN
DOWN TO MAKE WAY FOR PROMISED
REDEVELOPMENT, BUT
INVESTIGATORS SAY THOSE
PROJECTS WERE ALL A FRAUD,
CONCOCTED TO LURE MORE
INVESTORS TO COVER THE COSTS
OF OTHER PROJECTS AT JAY PEAK
AND TO LINE THE POCKETS OF THE
DEVELOPERS.
>> TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
>> RESIDENTS HERE HAVE BEEN
DEALING WITH THE EYESORE SINCE
THE SCANDAL BROKE.
>> IT JUST MAKES ME ANGRY THAT
BECAUSE OF GREED THIS
HAPPENED.
>> AND IT'S UNCLEAR WHEN AND
WHAT WILL BE DONE TO FILM THE
SPACE.
BUT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
PROMISES THE PRIME LOCATION
WILL EVENTUALLY ATTRACT
INVESTORS.
>> WHAT'S HOLDING THIS UP FROM
DEVELOPMENT IS IT IS IN THE
COURT RECEIVER'S HANDS.
IT CAN'T BE SOLD, IT CAN'T BE
DEVELOPED.
EVERYBODY IS JUST WAITING FOR
SOMETHING TO HAPPEN.
>> BREAULT HOPES SOMEONE COOKS
UP A PLAN AND SOON.
>> YOU KNOW, IT'S BEEN A BIT
OF A DISAPPOINTMENT, TO SAY
THE LEAST.
>> Darren: WHAT WAS PROMISED
AT THE SITE WAS A HOTEL AND A
BUNCH OF RETAIL SPACE.
CITY LEADERS TELL ME THAT IS
STILL THE GOAL ONCE THIS IS
ALL SETTLED, AND THEY ARE
LOOKING AT ADDITIONAL OPTIONS
TO FILL THAT HOLE AS WELL.
THAT WILL DO IT FOR CHANNEL
3'S "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
WE'LL SEND IT BACK TO SCOTT
FLEISHMAN AND THE WEEKEND TEAM
NOW FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF
THE VERMONT CITY MARATHON.
HAVE A GREAT DAY, EVERYBODY.
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