Massive fraud claims reverberate in remote area of Vermont

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — Sweeping development plans for a remote area of northern Vermont brought the promise of jobs to a region that has some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

But new allegations that two prominent businessmen behind the plans misused more than $200 million raised from foreign investors have brought some of the development to a halt.

They've also left state officials feeling betrayed after enthusiastically promoting the projects.

The plans were to include a biomedical research plant, a hotel and conference center, an airport runway extension, and big upgrades at two ski areas.

Some of the work is completed, but Gov. Peter Shumlin has acknowledged that the bioresearch plant and a downtown redevelopment probably won't happen.

The bio-tech plant was to create 450 jobs.