- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

EAST BURKE, Vt. (AP) - State regulators have frozen the escrow account for the Q Burke Hotel project, citing millions of dollars in funds unaccounted for.

The commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, Susan Donegan, said in a February letter that the project’s sponsors, Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, won’t be able to access the escrow account until they show that they’ve paid for expenses they’re obligated to cover and explain where the money went, The Burlington Free Press reported (https://bfpne.ws/1RXgYgg ).

The $50 million project is being partially funded by foreign investors through a federal government program, EB-5, that offers foreign nationals U.S. residency and conditional green cards in exchange for $500,000 investments in an economically depressed region of the country.

The developers, in this case Stenger and Quiros, are on the hook for part of the cost of a qualified EB-5 project.

Donegan said that information given to prospective investors indicates that project sponsors will contribute to the construction of the hotel and conference center. An additional amount is supposed to go toward utilities and common area infrastructure.

She said the department has seen “no indication of such contributions.”

Stenger said Thursday that all the money taken from the project has been “put right back in.”

“We’re going to provide them with all the substantiation they want,” Stenger said, referring to the state. “We’re working on that. There’s infrastructure, there’s a host of things we’ve done.”

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com


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