After EB-5 Revelations, Ernie Pomerleau Reflects on Failed Deal With Bill Stenger
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In 2014, Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau backed out of a deal with Newport businessmanBill Stenger after waiting four years for Stenger to come up with the first of multiple $1 million payments.
In 2010, Pomerleau, one of Vermont’s leading developers, had agreed to sell Newport’s prime Waterfront Plaza, a shopping center on Lake Memphremagog, to Stenger, who said he planned to build a hotel and marina there using the same EB-5 investor program he used to transform Jay Peak Resort and launch other projects in the NEK.
Ernie Pomerleau, Pomerleau’s son and CEO of Pomerleau Real Estate, told Seven Days on Friday that his family was fond of Stenger but began to question his ability to follow through on his promises.
“We’re not players that play on hopes and wishes. We play on reality,” Pomerleau said. “After a while you go, ‘It isn’t going to happen.’ There’s a difference between what you want to happen and what you know will happen. It was very clear this wasn’t getting done in an efficient manner and we had to move on.”
However, Pomerleau said he did not suspect the severity of problems with Stenger’s operation. The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday accused Stenger and his business partner, Ariel Quiros, of running an operation akin to a Ponzi scheme.