Rob Conrad is owed nearly $250,000 for his work on the Q Burke Hotel and Conference Center in East Burke. He has no idea if or when he'll be paid.
Conrad is one of 28 subcontractors who are collectively owed nearly $3.7 million for their work on the $50 million hotel, now called Burke Mountain Lodge.
Payment is in doubt after resort owner Ariel Quiros and his partner Bill Stenger were accused of fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation. Both agencies accuse Quiros and Stenger of mishandling some $200 million raised from foreign nationals through the federal government's EB-5 program. Quiros is accused of stealing an additional $50 million for himself. Both Quiros and Stenger deny the charges.
The EB-5 program offers green cards to foreigners who invest $500,000 each in development projects in economically depressed areas of the country that create a minimum of 10 jobs per investment.
With Quiros' assets in the Northeast Kingdom frozen by the SEC, the subcontractors — and general contractor Peak CM of Winooski — have no way to get paid until those assets are sold and their liens can be satisfied.
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