Huge Vermont development plan alleged to be massive fraud

NEWPORT, Vt. – Their plans for a biomedical research plant, a hotel, an airport runway extension and big upgrades at two ski areas brought the promise of jobs to a remote area of northern Vermont that has some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

Now, the two businessmen behind the sweeping developments stand accused of misusing more than $200 million of about $400 million raised from foreign investors “in Ponzi-like fashion.” The case has brought some of the development to a halt and left state officials who enthusiastically promoted the projects feeling betrayed.

“It’s a dark day for Vermont,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said in announcing the fraud allegations last week.

Last week, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and the state accused Ariel Quiros of Miami, the owner of Jay Peak ski resort, and Bill Stenger of Newport, the resort’s president, of a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme.” The court filings allege

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