Letters to the Editor

An 'unknowing pawn'? I've got a bridge...

Feb 9 2023, 6:04 AM

Because of a certain amount of cooperation, after the fact, Bill Stenger was allowed to plead to many fewer and reduced charges (in Vermont's EB-5 scandal). However, Stenger was directly involved from the very beginning, using his relationship with Gov. Jim Douglas, traveling the Orient together, promoting AnC Bio, Jay Peak and Burke Mountain.

When Peter Shumlin became governor, the fraud was already in full swing. Shumlin fully promoted it as well.

Stenger and Quiros were and are con artists. Though Quiros benefited much more financially, for whatever reason, Stenger fully participated as both the “confidence man” and the enabler. Quiros was little known at the time. There is absolutely no way the scheme could have succeeded without Stenger’s direct involvement, manipulation and his connections.

State officials should have been much more diligent in oversight. The prize goal, from Stenger's own words, “a public-private partnership.” “Their mutual goal was to create thousands of jobs and boost the economy of the impoverished region.” The success of these projects was a priority to the state and its leadership, allowing Stenger and Quiros to stonewall and delay verification of the claims.

EB-5 is a federal program. The SEC met with Ariel Quiros for many hours in May 2014 to question him regarding his illegal dealings, which the agency had known of long before that meeting. The SEC let the scam continue for nearly two more years before they shut it down.

Paul Drayman