8 responses

  1. Nick Nemec
    2014.02.26

    It's graft, pure and simple. Petty graft but graft none the less. Graft with no shame, and most importantly a system set up to handle business reimbursements that couldn't tell the difference between real expenses and petty self serving graft.

  2. Rorschach
    2014.02.26

    "Translation services" costing $1,200 cash with a receipt written on a Philippine hotel notepad sounds to me like they hired some hookers to entertain themselves and their business prospects and had a big laugh about getting that paid for by taxpayers. But this Benda/Bollen stuff wasn't a one-time incident. It was a long pattern of practice that Rounds can't plausibly claim he didn't know about. The Rounds and Daugaard administrations have for years had all of the information that is now coming to light, and their response was to bury it and not make anything public and not bring any charges while Benda was alive.

  3. chris
    2014.02.26

    Wonder if Joop EB-5'ed his new wife thru immigration. That would take $500,000, wouldn't it?

  4. wal
    2014.02.26

    I worked and traveled Internationally (private company) and certain expenses were and were not acceptable. Expenses were given as an annual budget and as an employee you were ALWAYS encouraged to spend the budget each year because if you didn't not only was your expense account going to get cut but so would all expense accts. Certain things were and were not acceptable:
    1. buying magazines? No
    2. buying snacks at the airport? Yes
    3. cash receipts? No, Never.

    However, things could in fact shift depending on how much you were generating. Expenses submitted could be "looser" and or less looked at because you had landed this deal or that.

    The difference is that I was spending company money NOT tax payers dollars.

    Were expenses looked at with one eye because of how MUCH the EB-5 program was supposedly bringing into the state? Were things loosy goosy because of what was being brought in?

  5. AnnieTee
    2014.02.26

    I made mention of this on a previous post, but has anyone questioned Rich Sattgast on why these reimbursement requests were approved by the State Auditor's office with such sloppy documentation? The State Auditor is independently elected to serve as a watchdog for taxpayer money. They are supposed to be the checks and balances part of state government that insures claims paid by the state are appropriate.

  6. Joe
    2014.02.26

    I've done very little travel for companies/state/schools in my life, but I was always told to turn in anything you think might get approved, because at worst, it would just get denied and you would get a "really" talking too from the higher ups. The problem here, is it appears, the "really" talk never came. I've heard similar stories from other departments. In a normal state this would be an auditors problem, but I'm not really sure what the auditors department does in South Dakota

  7. Deb Geelsdottir
    2014.02.26

    I submit some receipts for expenses. Not only would I never consider turning in such crap as that, none of that would stand a chance of being approved, and if I kept it up, I'd be fired.

  8. grudznick
    2014.02.26

    Ms. AnnieTee let us hope that when they start the investigations they have this Mr. Sattgass up for some questions. They may start with "why did you approve these payments, sir?" It seems insaner than ever.

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