NEWPORT CITY — City resident Bill Stenger, former CEO and president of Jay Peak Resort, and Ariel Quiros, former resort owner, pleaded not guilty May 22, 2019 in U.S. District Court in Burlington to multiple charges related to conspiring to defraud immigrant investors who invested in what turned out to be a fictitious AnC Bio Vermont project in Newport City.
U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan used the hole in Newport City as a back drop to announce that a multi-year investigation led to a “sweeping” grand jury indictment of Stenger, former CEO and president of Jay Peak Resort; Quiros of Florida; his business advisor William Kelly of Florida; and Jong Weon Choi, also known as Alex Choi, of South Korea.
The indictment alleges that the four men conspired, each in different ways, to inflate jobs numbers and business prospects for the ill-fated AnC Bio Vermont project, part of the EB-5 scandal.
They bought and razed the downtown properties to make way for a hotel, but the so-called Ponzi scheme collapsed before anything was built.
Quiros and Kelly are accused of doubling the AnC Bio Vermont construction cost to $110 million, committing wire fraud by diverting $47 million to Quiros who used it to cover loans and for personal investments, concealing facts from state and federal oversight, Nolan said.
Quiros is also charged with money laundering.
Stenger, Quiros and Kelly each face 10 to 12 counts in federal court.