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Feds dismiss charges against the fourth man indicted in the EB-5 scandal

A sign for PeakCM construction with an illustration of a proposed AnC bio building.
Angela Evancie
Vermont Public File
Federal prosecutors dismissed fraud charges against Alex Choi, the fourth man indicted in the EB-5 scandal. Choi has been at large since the charges were filed in 2019.

The U.S Attorney for the District of Vermont has dismissed fraud charges against Alex Choi, the fourth man indicted over a scheme to build a biotech facility in Newport.

Choi has been at-large since federal prosecutors charged him in 2019, and he hasn’t entered the United States or appeared in court since the indictment, according to recently filed court documents.

The feds have also been unable to obtain “important evidence” from Korea that prosecutors say it needed in the case against Choi.

More from Vermont Public: In exclusive interview, Bill Stenger discusses regrets in EB-5 investment fraud scandal

“In light of these difficulties, as well as the resolution of the cases against the co-defendants, dismissal of the Indictment at this time is in the interests of justice,” wrote U.S Attorney Nikolas Kerest in a notice of dismissal filed on June 24.

Judge Geoffrey Crawford approved the dismissal on Monday.

The other three men indicted in the EB-5 scandal – Bill Stenger, Ariel Quiros and William Kelly – all pleaded guilty to various criminal charges and were sentenced to time in prison. Stenger and Kelly will serve 18 months, and Quiros got five years.

More from VPR News: Six years after the EB-5 scandal shocked the state, some in the Northeast Kingdom say things are better off

The men were accused of taking millions of dollars from foreign investors using the federal EB-5 program, which promised green cards in return for investments in economic development projects.

The criminal case focused on a proposed biomedical facility that never got built, despite the developers' repeated promises. Federal prosecutors say the facility was almost a complete fraud, and that the men embezzled the funds they raised.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Liam Elder-Connors @lseconnors

Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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