In EB-5 Case, Investors' Lawyer Fails to Verify China Sex Crime Claim | Off Message

In EB-5 Case, Investors' Lawyer Fails to Verify China Sex Crime Claim


Attorney Chandler Matson - MARK DAVIS
  • Mark Davis
  • Attorney Chandler Matson
On March 19, Stowe attorney Russell Barr, who represents foreign investors defrauded in the Jay Peak Resort EB-5 scandal, made a sensational allegation.

After a court hearing on the investors' lawsuit against state officials, Barr told reporters he had evidence that one of the 10 defendants had been arrested on an EB-5 trip to China in "2013 or 2014" for "having sex with a minor" and was bailed out by another state official.

Barr said he would provide evidence of the incident in a memo he was scheduled to file with the court in two weeks. On Monday — the due date — Barr filed the memo. It made no mention of his allegation.

Instead, Barr and cocounsel Chandler Matson filed a 52-page motion in which they repeated legal arguments they'd previously made. The attorneys stressed, for example, that the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center, an arm of state government tasked with overseeing the projects, bore responsibility to bilked investors because it touted its involvement as an indication that the investment was safe.

"Those individuals then proceeded to use the brand of the state of Vermont and assist the marketers of the largest fraud in Vermont history to recruit immigrants by the repeated and various notions of state auditing and oversight," Barr wrote. "The defendants have not identified or explained a single action that could possibly be construed as qualified audit or oversight."

Vermont Public Radio first reported about Monday's motion.

The Vermont Attorney General's Office has asked Judge Thomas Carlson to dismiss the investors' lawsuit, arguing that the claims are without merit.

"We're going to move forward and do our job, which is to protect the state," Attorney General T.J. Donovan said Tuesday.

Barr did not immediately respond to several requests for comment.