Lawsuits claim massive fraud

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 20, 2016

by Chris Braithwaite

The fix was in from the beginning.

That grim conclusion emerges from a reading of the civil lawsuits state and federal officials have filed against Bill Stenger, Ariel Quiros, Jay Peak, Inc., Q Resorts, Inc., and a host of the corporations and partnerships the two men have established over the past eight years.

Ever since he announced that he was a part owner of Jay Peak in 2008, Mr. Stenger has presided over a stunning series of expansion programs aimed at converting the ski area to a year-round resort. All were funded by foreign investors seeking immigrant status under the EB-5 visa program, which rewards half-million-dollar job-creating investments with a green card.

And, as Mr. Stenger never tired of telling skeptical critics, five of the six major expansions he’s undertaken at Jay have been finished as promised; they’re up and running.

But the state and federal complaints allege…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Stenger pled ignorance to SEC in 2014

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 20, 2016

by Chris Braithwaite

When investigators with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked Bill Stenger whether his partner had bought Jay Peak resort with money misappropriated from foreign investors, Mr. Stenger said he didn’t know.

That was the gist of Mr. Stenger’s answers in May 2014, when he was summoned to Miami, Florida, to answer questions about how Ariel Quiros became the owner of Jay Peak in June 2008.

In the lawsuit it filed last week, the SEC charged that Mr. Quiros’ diversion of the investors’ funds to buy the ski area was the beginning of a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme” that led them to seize both Jay Peak and Q Burke Mountain last week.

When asked if he knew if any of the funds Mr. Quiros used to buy Jay Peak were investor’s funds that had been transferred to a Miami brokerage house, Mr. Stenger’s reply was vague:

“I don’t know if they were or not,” he said according to a transcript of his deposition. “They might have been. I don’t know.”

Mr. Stenger’s alleged role…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

State approves consolidation plan for OCSU

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 20, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

BARTON — The State Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved the Orleans Central Supervisory Union’s (OCSU) plan for a consolidated school district.

Meanwhile the committee that has been working on that plan is holding informational meetings in the OCSU towns that will vote on consolidation in June.

Only three members of the public showed up at the meeting at the Barton Graded School on Saturday norming.

The meeting covered the articles of agreement that the state had to approve before the school district merger vote on June 7.

“You should have more people here,” said Grace Mason, a resident of Barton and former town clerk. “I made it clear to all my friends that they should come to this meeting, but as you can see, they didn’t.”

“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” said Amy Leroux…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Irasburg Select Board: Fecher resigns from board

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 20, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail 

IRASBURG — Brian Fecher, the chair of the Irasburg Select Board, submitted a letter of resignation from the board at a special meeting called for Thursday night.  But he’s still on the board for now.

“Recently I accepted a position that takes me over an hour away at least four days a week,” Mr. Fecher’s letter says.

“I’m away 40-50 hours a week,” he said at the meeting. “I don’t know that I can keep up with the responsibilities of being on the select board.”

“Yesterday we received word that a buyer is seriously interested in the purchase of our house,” the letter says. “As a result, our plans have changed and a timetable moved up.”

Mr. Fecher said his new job responsibilities and the time he spends commuting is eating into time he previously spent working on town business.

However, he was worried about the effect that his resignation would have on the board and its workload…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Stenger and state spar over finances

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

EAST BURKE – A long-running disagreement between the sponsors of two EB-5-funded projects and state regulators has been thrown into sharp relief through an exchange of letters between the owners of Q Burke Resort and the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR).

On March 25, Commissioner Susan Donegan of the DFR sent a letter to Bill Stenger, one of the Q Burke partners and co-owner of Jay Peak Resort, in which she accused him of failing “to engage in best business practices.”

That failure, Ms. Donegan maintained, made it impossible for her to give the Q Burke partners complete access to investors’ money now held.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Viens won’t seek re-election, Monette, Klar will run

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Tena Starr

The Orleans County political playing field shuffled around this week.

State Senator John Rodgers of Glover won’t run for lieutenant governor after all.  Representative Gary Viens of Newport won’t run for a state Senate seat, and his wife, Carol, won’t run for his House seat.  Instead, the Viens won’t run for anything.

Irasburg farmer John Klar and Newport Mayor Paul Monette will run for House, both as Republicans, setting up a Primary Election race between those two and.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Alternative medicine – woo-woo or effective?

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 13, 2016

by Natalie Hormilla

On a recent rainy morning, Grace Johnstone zipped up what looked like a cross between an astronaut suit and a duffle bag and flipped a switch.  The thing’s slack walls filled out and stiffened as it filled with air, and it made a loud, vaccum-type sound.

But it’s not loud if you’re inside it, Ms. Johnstone said.

For a person who comes to Community Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in East Hardwick, getting inside this contraption – a hyperbaric chamber – can lead to healing that may not happen otherwise, Ms. Johnstone said.

“Some people go through the medical wringer, and straighten themselves out with HBOT.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Sugarmaking turns into big business

Featured

copyrigh the Chronicle April 6, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

Sugarmaking has turned into big business in Vermont.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vermont sugarmakers made 1.3 million gallons of syrup in 2015, more than double the 500,000 gallons produced in 2008.

A lot of the growth is from new technology – vacuum pumps that keep the sap flowing at continuous levels instead of starting and stopping with the weather, and reverse osmosis, a process that removes up to 75 percent of the water in the sap before boiling even begins, said Mark Isselhardt, a maple specialist at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center.

All of that efficiency means that sugarmakers can tap more trees.

But progress can come at a price.…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Firefighters save Barton home

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

Barton, Orleans, and Glover firefighters work to keep Mark LaCoss’ home from destruction Tuesday.  Barton Ambulance was also on the scene.  Barton Fire Chief Kevin Tartaglio said his department was toned out at 2:30 p.m. for a garage fire on New Dublin Lane.  Because of the small number of firefighters in the Barton department, Chief Tartaglio immediately sought assistance from Orleans through Mutual Aid.  When…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Stenger says Newport plans are on track

Featured

copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – Bill Stenger says his plans for Newport are on track, although those related to the AnC Bio facility are undergoing some modifications in reaction to changes in the direction of biomedical technology.

In a conversation Monday, just after he returned from seeking investors in South Africa, Mr. Stenger said plans have been modified to allow the facility to manufacture products for gene therapy products in addition to those based on stem cells.

Gene therapy requires changes to “air flow, water flow, and people flow” in the plant, he said.

Mr. Stenger said the design modifications are necessary to keep pace…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share