Jong Weon Choi, also known as Alex Choi, had been called a “hidden partner” in the largest fraud case in Vermont’s history.
The former CEO and president of Jay Peak is the first of three defendants to go behind bars in connection with an investor fraud scandal that rocked the state.
Jay Peak Resort’s former owner faced a possible maximum sentence of roughly eight years in prison under a plea deal with prosecutors for his role in the largest fraud case in the history of the state.
Kelly is the second of three defendants to be sentenced in the case. Bill Stenger, Jay Peak’s former president, received an 18-month prison sentence last week. Ariel Quiros, Jay Peak’s former owner, is set for sentencing next week.
As questions were raised about a missing $40 million and self-dealing at AnC Bio, the project was reinstated, Susan Donegan said in federal court.
Judge Geoffrey Crawford handed down the sentence Thursday in federal court in Burlington. He also ordered Stenger, the former president of Jay Peak Resort, to pay restitution of $250,000.
Attorneys for the former Jay Peak president say Liz Miller urged the Department of Financial Regulation to back off "a carte blanche review" of personal bank accounts of the developers of AnC Bio Vermont. She disputes that contention.
Bill Stenger’s defense team contends that their client’s many medical conditions could worsen behind bars and he doesn’t have enough money to pay the $1.66 million in restitution the prosecution is asking a judge to impose.
The former Jay Peak president is set for sentencing later this month on a charge of submitting a false document to the government in a failed project to build a $110 million biomedical center in Newport, known as AnC Bio Vermont.
Legislation aimed at curbing fraud and reining in unscrupulous developers in the immigrant investor program is included in the omnibus spending package to fund the federal government, which lawmakers are expected to approve ahead of a Friday deadline.
Shumlin took gifts, campaign contributions and apartment stays from Jay Peak owner Ariel Quiros while he helped the Miami developer troubleshoot problems, the records show. A top regulator threatened to resign from Shumlin’s cabinet if he failed to protect investors.
Merrill Lynch was one of several financial firms that regulators alleged should have known that accounts were being used to defraud foreign investors in Jay Peak.
Federal Judge Geoffrey Crawford said he was considering a “carve out” for witness statements from past and present state officials and employees from an earlier protective order he signed off on that blocked their release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Cate argues that bilked foreign investors suing the state should not have access to documents provided to attorneys in a criminal case, calling a move by the lawyer seeking them an “end-run.”