MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) – One of the key players in the Kingdom Con investigation, along with former Shumlin administration officials, will not have to testify before a judge in the criminal case.
Former Jay Peak president Bill Stenger was slated to appear in front of a federal judge Thursday for an evidentiary hearing ahead of his sentencing. But he and former Shumlin administration officials won’t have to after a deal reached last month, raising questions about accountability among top state officials.
Stenger pleaded guilty to providing a false statement to investigators in connection with the Ponzi scheme. Ariel Quiros and William Kelly also pleaded guilty to charges associated with the scam.
The EB-5 fraud swindled foreign investors seeking green cards out of investments in projects located in Newport, Burke and Jay. Under the agreement between Stenger’s legal team and prosecutors, former top Shumlin administration officials, including chief of staff Liz Miller, Commerce Secretary Patricia Moulton, DFR Commissioner Susan Donegan, and Deputy Commissioner Mike Pieciak won’t have to testify.
Legal experts say the statute of limitations may prevent further criminal charges against the state leaders. They also say there are questions about whether the alleged failure to intervene even merits charges. “First of all, did they take any illegal criminal action? Did they commit the fraud themselves? Conversely, did they learn about the fraud and have some sort of obligation…