Joop Bollen, you have the right to remain silent. For your sake, you might want to exercise it. If you keep saying absurd things like the following, no one will believe anything you say:
The director of the South Dakota Regional Center said he does not know why the Governor's Office of Economic Development canceled a consulting contract with him to attract EB-5 investment dollars to the state.
Joop Bollen, the SDRC director who helped raise $80 million for Northern Beef Packers, said that the letter states the contract is terminated "for cause," but no cause is listed.
"I do not know what the cause is," he said. "It would only be speculation. The only one who knows is the GOED" [Jeff Natalie-Lees, "Bollen, Others Continue Support for EB-5 Program," Aberdeen American News, 2013.11.06].
Come on, Joop, don't play dumb. You know the state already had you on a short financial leash. You know why Pierre no longer trusts you with EB-5 money.
Bollen keeps going, saying his EB-5 work has been a net plus for the state:
Bollen went on to defend the EB-5 program, which grants permanent residency status to those who make a minimum $500,000 investment to businesses in the United States.
"It has been an incredible boon to the state," he said. "Look at its total benefits versus its bumps in the road."
Bollen said it is disappointing that Northern Beef Packers failed, but there are many other successful EB-5 funded projects in South Dakota, including the Dakota Provisions turkey plant in Huron, the Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel, Casino and Events Center and a Basin Electric power plant near Elkton [Natalie-Lees, 2013.11.06].
Northern Beef Packers fails to pay hundreds of workers, kills their jobs, makes $152 million in EB-5 visa money, crazy secret loans, and public investment disappear, and you call that disappointing?
The Veblen dairies that you so eagerly suckered more Korean investors into subsidizing screws local producers, pollutes the watershed, and goes bankrupt, and you call that a bump in the road?
Sometimes Bollen's crazy-talk works. In September 2011, Darley International, a business services firm in California, tried to force Bollen's SDRC Inc. to enter arbitration to settle a dispute over a South Dakota fish farm project. Bollen's previous organization, the state-run South Dakota International Business Institute, had contracted with Hanul Law in California for EB-5 work. Hanul in turn contracted with Darley to recruit Chinese investors. Darley promoted the fish farm, but SDIBI cancelled the fish farm in December 2007. SDIBI then mostly ceased to function, as Bollen incorporated the private SDRC Inc. to do South Dakota's EB-5 work in January 2008. When Darley tried to bring SDRC to arbitration, Bollen, master of disguise and corporate personhood, argued that SDIBI and SDRC are different entities, that SDRC never signed anything with Darley, and that SDRC doesn't have to answer for anything SDIBI did.
And the court bought it. Now that's disappointing.
Baloney or not, Bollen makes one more comment to the press that could signal more fun to come:
He said he did not want to comment on the GOED because he "doesn't want to get in a fight with them in the media" [Natalie-Lees, 2013.11.06].
...but is he ready for a fight in the court, where he's had such luck with legal legerdemain? If more shoes are to drop, maybe Bollen is signalling he's not ready to be the fall guy. (If that's the case, Joop, call me!)
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Bollen said the EB-5 program by definition involves risk. Some projects will succeed and some will fail, he said.
"Look at the cost benefit analysis," he said. "How many millions of dollars did we bring into the state and how many jobs have we created? Even the beef plant. It is too bad it didn't make it, but that will someday become a state-of-the-art beef plant" [Natalie-Lees, 2013.11.06].