My name is Janssen Willhoit, and I am a candidate for Vermont attorney general.
The values that most inspired me to run for the chief law enforcement office in Vermont are transparency and equal justice under the law. The issue that most motivated me to run is the EB-5 fraud scandal at Jay Peak and the inexcusable coverup that followed by Vermont-elected officials and bureaucrats.
I live and practice law in St. Johnsbury, so the impact that this massive, international, multi-million-dollar fraud has had on the people of this region and for our state is very real to me. For those who may not have followed the story, the EB-5 program allows immigrants to the United States to obtain citizenship by investing in projects that create jobs in communities that could use an economic boost. In Vermont, developers Bill Stenger and Arial Quiros used the program to ostensibly generate hundreds of millions of dollars for projects in and around Jay Peak and Newport. For the economically depressed residents of the Northeast Kingdom, this looked like a blessing.
Sadly, roughly $200 million was embezzled, the jobs were never created, and the development projects went bust. Seven-hundred immigrants not only lost their investments, but they were likely robbed of the U.S. citizenship they were promised, as well. Even worse than the crime committed by the developers is the coverup our elected officials and state bureaucrats are still engaged in regarding their own roles in allowing this fiasco to take place.
Allegations of misuse of funds and kickbacks surrounding the Jay Peak project first surfaced in 2012. But, for three years, Vermont state officials refused to investigate. At the same time, they were taking part in high-priced junkets to China, actively promoting these projects to investors.
When the veil finally fell away from this corrupt scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought 52 counts of securities fraud against the developers. However, the power of our attorney general’s office has been used to cover up, rather than prosecute, any crimes or negligence committed by government officials. This is unacceptable.
For over three years, the Vermont attorney general (past and present) has refused to release documents related to this case reasonably requested by the media under the Freedom of Information Act. Our current attorney general is pursuing an “absolute immunity” strategy in order to protect high-powered political insiders and deny the immigrant victims of these crimes their due justice. This is not who we are as Vermonters.
I can’t sit by and let this happen, and so I promise that if elected to be your next attorney general, I will shed the public light on this case that it deserves, get to the bottom of what, if any, corruption has taken place by members of our government, and allow justice to take place for the victims of these crimes.
We like to think that Vermont is special and that these kinds of things don’t happen here. Well, they won’t happen here unless we let them happen here. Vermonters have a right to know if members of our government were complicit and/or negligent in the perpetration of the biggest fraud case to happen to our state in living memory. With your vote on Nov. 6, I promise to make sure Vermont really is the special place we expect it to be.
- MICHAEL I. GOLDBERG vs The AM Wealth Management Group of Raymond James & Ariel Quiros & Joel Burstein
- JAMES B. SHAW, JOHANNES EIJMBERTS, and LORNE MORRIS Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, vs The AM Wealth Management Group of Raymond James & Bill Stenger & Joel Burstein & Ariel Quiros
- ALEXANDRE DACCACHE, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated vs Ariel Quiros & Bill Stenger & The AM Wealth Management Group of Raymond James & Joel Burstein
- State of Vermont vs Bill Stenger & Ariel Quiros
- UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION vs Ariel Quiros & Bill Stenger
Subscribe for News
Join Professionals on EB5Projects.com →
This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities. Any such offer or solicitation will be made only by means of an investment's confidential Offering Memorandum and in accordance with the terms of all applicable securities and other laws. This website does not constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, any offer for sale or subscription of, or any invitation to offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities, nor should it or any part of it form the basis of, or be relied on in any connection with, any contract or commitment whatsoever. EB5Projects.com LLC and its affiliates expressly disclaim any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from: (i) reliance on any information contained in the website, (ii) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (iii) any action resulting therefrom.