By the end of 2014, there was a growing recognition inside Vermont state government that the sprawling Northeast Kingdom Economic Development Initiative was a scam, and rumors to that effect were spreading among immigrant investors around the world.
Then-Gov. Peter Shumlin had hoped to allay the fears of prospective foreign investors in the state-run EB-5 visa program, which funneled money to the development projects, by bringing in securities regulators to oversee them.
The governor also took steps to secure his relationship with Ariel Quiros, the owner of Jay Peak Resort — and the man federal and state officials would eventually describe as the mastermind of a massive “Ponzi-like scheme” centered around the resort.
On New Year’s Day in 2015, Shumlin and Quiros met privately at the governor’s East Montpelier home, according to information from FBI records that had not previously been disclosed. Quiros later told investigators that he and…