NEWPORT — Today the State of Vermont and VTDigger announced a settlement in the matter regarding two public records requests by the news organization related to Jay Peak’s EB-5 program.
Under terms of the settlement, the State of Vermont agreed to provide VTDigger the originally requested documents as well as additional agreed-upon Jay Peak records.
“VTDigger remains committed to making sure that the story of Jay Peak is told in its entirety,” Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VTDigger, said.
Galloway says the records released on Friday are long overdue to the public.
VTDigger began covering allegations of fraud at the ski area back in 2014, and has been seeking documents on the public’s behalf since that time.
Due to ongoing litigation, only a few hundred records have been released, with disclosure pending on 1.5 million pages of documents between Shumlin administration officials and Jay Peak developers.
VTDigger’s legal team filed a complaint in January seeking official communications between the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regarding the projects at Jay Peak Resort.
Requests for the records from VTDigger have been repeatedly denied over the past three years.
“It is refreshing to see the State and its citizens cooperate in the release of public documents,” Tim Cornell, VTDigger’s attorney, said. “This brings us a step closer to finding out how the Jay Peak scandal happened.”
In 2014, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation began an investigation into the fraud at Jay Peak, which ultimately led to federal and state action.
In April 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the State of Vermont charged the developers of Jay Peak Resort with 52 counts of fraud and the misuse of $200 million in foreign investor funds.
The developers’ “Ponzi-like” scheme was perpetrated over an eight-year period from 2008-2016, during which the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development administered the EB-5 program.