Vermont to release some documents in ski resort fraud case

FeaturesAssociated Press

The state hopes to release "hundreds of thousands" of pages of documents in the next few weeks relating to the alleged investment fraud at the Jay Peak ski resort, Vermont's top financial regulator said.

Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak said the need to remove bank account numbers and other sensitive personal information has contributed to the delay.

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"We're confident that we will have the first batch of records out in the near future," Pieciak said.

The administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced last week it had reached a settlement with the news organization VTDigger.org, which began reporting about Jay Peak well before the fraud allegations became public, to release about 200 pages of the Jay Peak records.

Anne Galloway, the founder and editor of VTDigger, said in a statement the state has used a variety of means over the years to deny records requests that could reveal the relationship between state officials and Jay Peak.

"It is disturbing that we had to hire a team of lawyers to sue for documents that should have been readily available in 2017 when we first asked for them," Galloway said.

In 2016, federal regulators alleged that Jay Peak officials misused $200 million in funds from foreign investors amassed through the EB-5 program that helps foreigners obtain permanent residency by investing in job-creating developments in the U.S.

Since the charges were first made announced, civil settlements have been reached with the former owner and his partner.

The Jay Peak ski area, located just south of the Canadian border, is now for sale.