Last updated on 2018.07.23
Amidst the mind-boggling complexities of the Governor's Office of Economic Development/EB-5 visa/Northern Beef Packers/Richard Benda/Mike Rounds scandal, I find this small kettle of stinky fish.
During the first year of construction, Northern Beef Packers made at least three wire transfers to an offshore account held by Ultracare Holdings Inc. at P.O. Box 957, Offshore Incorporations Centre Road, Tortole, British Virgin Islands. NBP bank statements list what looks like a $504,350 wire transfer to Ultracare in December, 2007; $308,500 on January 4, 2008; and $687,225* on April 21, 2008.
Ultracare Holdings Limited is based in Cyprus. It is a subsidiary of Globaltrans Investment Inc., a freight rail company in Russia.
Northern Beef Packers had other offshore dealings, specifically the convoluted financing deal in which it got the state banking commission to approve a $30 million loan from secret investors calling themselves Epoch Star Limited in the British Virgin Islands, took only $3 million, then used $35 million in EB-5 visa investor money to buy Epoch Star Limited and apparently make that loan disappear. A key part of winning state approval of that loan was convincing the state that Epoch Star was a one-time outfit with no prior or future dealings with Northern Beef Packers.
Maybe this offshore loan was a one-time deal with one-time investors. These bank statements, however, show that NBP already had $1.5 million in dealings with someone in the British Virgin Islands.
I invite any local beef packing and financing experts to explain how a beef packing plant in South Dakota ends up sending $1.5 million to and offshore account connected with the Russians.
Update 2013.11.17 08:45 CST: I originally published this figure as $887,225. A source puts his magnifying glass to the bank statements and says the first digit is a 6.