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William Kelly, an advisor to former Jay Peak developers, will serve 18 months in prison

A sign for PeakCM construction with an illustration of a proposed AnC bio building.
Angela Evancie
VPR File
William Kelly, an advisor to former Jay Peak developers, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Wednesday for his role in the EB-5 scandal. Kelly pleaded guilty in June 2021 to two federal fraud charges.

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced William Kelly to 18 months in prison for his role in the EB-5 scandal. He also must pay more than $8.3 million in restitution and faces three years of supervised release.

Kelly, 73, is one of four men indicted by federal prosecutors in 2019 over a scheme to build a biotech facility in Newport. The AnC Bio project, which prosecutors say was a total fraud, was never completed and the men embezzled money raised for the project.

More From VPR: Bill Stenger sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the EB-5 scandal

The funds for the biotech project and several other developments in the Northeast Kingdom came from the federal EB-5 program, which offers foreign investors citizenship if they put $500,000 into development projects in economically depressed regions of the country. Some of the Northeast Kingdom projects funded through the EB-5 program, like a waterpark at Jay Peak ski resort, were built. Many, including the biotech facility, never came to fruition.

Kelly pleaded guilty in June 2021 to conspiring with Ariel Qurios, Bill Stenger and Jong Weon (Alex) Choi in a wire fraud scheme using the EB-5 program. Kelly also pleaded guilty to concealing material facts.

More from VPR: 4 named In Criminal Indictment Filed In Federal Court Over NEK Project

Kelly, in his guilty plea, admitted that he and his co-defendants misled investors about how funds would be used, the number of jobs that would be created by AnC Bio and the timeline to create those jobs. Prosecutors say Kelly also admitted to helping Qurios conceal the fact that he used investors funds for personal expenses.

Stenger, the former president of Jay Peak ski resort, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last week. Qurios, who pleaded guilty to three fraud charges, is set to be sentenced next week. Choi is still at large, according to federal authorities.

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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