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Bollen Fraud Could Have Paid Off Rounds Deficit; Taxpayers Should Join Barth Lawsuit

John Tsitrian puts two and two together and gets 127 million reasons that Jeff Barth's legal action against Mike Rounds and company has merit:

Worth noting is that the budget gap facing incoming Governor Dennis Daugaard in 2011 (I believe $127 million is the figure most commonly used--I'm eminently correctable by more knowledgeable readers via my comments section) was roughly the same amount as was given up by the shady transfer of business from SD to Joop Bollen. Daugaard had to apply some painful budget cuts to make up the difference. On that basis alone, all South Dakotans have a beef that should be addressed in the courts. We came up short of cash that should have been ours. That cash would have been enough to cover most of the budget shortfall that Daugaard had to contend with during his first year in office [John Tsitrian, "Probably Political As All Get Out, But Barth's Beef Is Legit, Just The Same," The Constant Commoner, 2014.09.24].

Notice that argument as to Bollen and Rounds's culpability for fiscal harm done to every South Dakotan doesn't mention the word EB-5. It mentions something every South Dakota voter can immediately grasp: The Rounds Administration allowed a fraud that cost the state millions of dollars that your counties and schools had to make up by cutting services, cutting teachers, and raising your local taxes.

Citizens wishing to join Commissioner Barth in his legal action may contact the commissioner here.


  1. Craig 2014.09.24

    Does this post imply, if the EB-5 program would have stayed in the hands of the State and not gone "private" (SDRC) that all of the State employees would have not had to go 3 years without raises? If so, this should upset many voters in this state. How could any State employee vote for Mike Rounds after finding out this could be the case?

  2. 96Tears 2014.09.24

    Don't let Daugaard off the hook. He kept the Rounds racket running another three years, until it was clear the feds would blow the doors off of it. And Daugaard is neck deep in the GOP team effort to keep a lid on this until after the election.

    Remember who brought Richard Benda, Dennis Daugaard and Marty Jackley to his inner circle in Pierre: Mike Rounds.

  3. John Tsitrian 2014.09.24

    Given the size of the shortfall, Craig, I'd guess everybody who has a claim on South Dakota's budget felt some of this pinch. Daugaard essentially got left holding the bag on this thing.

  4. Crusty 2014.09.24

    Please explain how the SD state budget would be $127M better off without the SDRC contract. Not that I don't believe you, just don't understand it.

  5. Bill Fleming 2014.09.24

    Crusty, okay, I'll take an amateur whack at it. First, read this RCJ article that lists all the EB-5 projects to date. (I know Cory will have some dispute with the number of jobs the article says were created, and maybe even the dollar figures, but it's perhaps a good place to start. Now notice that there was $642 million invested in those projects. Many of those investment dollars were obtained through loans, for which Joop Bollen's various enterprises privately collected various loan processing fees and other assets. Those are monies that, had the venture not been privatized, would have gone into state coffers.

  6. Bill Fleming 2014.09.24

    Okay good, John T's link says that in addition to the funds that were invested, there was about $150,000 in additional funds collected per investor. Going back to the RCJ article to double check, $150,000 x 304 investors = around $45,600. So there is a discrepancy somewhere. But at least you see how various people are trying to figure it out. It remains to be seen exactly how much State revenue was actually handed over to private contractors.

  7. Bill Fleming 2014.09.24

    Ok, I see it, Tsitrian's article says Bollen managed about 800 investors, not the 304 the RCJ cites.

  8. Crusty 2014.09.24

    Thanks, everyone. I understand much more clearly now. However, I am now much more upset.........

  9. Bill Fleming 2014.09.24

    ...yup. Unfortunately, it looks like we're not going to get any new information out of Mr. Bollen before the election:

    (from twitter... read from the bottom up)

    David Montgomery @ArgusMontgomery 14m
    And GOAC adjourns for the day.

    David Montgomery David Montgomery @ArgusMontgomery 19m
    That next meeting will hear from the Board of Regents and written responses from Joop Bollen.

    David Montgomery David Montgomery @ArgusMontgomery 19m
    On a party line vote, GOAC votes to schedule its next meeting after the Nov. 4 election.

  10. Tim 2014.09.24

    The GOP ran commission stonewalling until after the election, that should surprise no one. I would have been shocked if they held a meeting before the election.

  11. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.24

    In a recent Rapid City Journal story, the headline was "Bollen Vows to Answer Written GOAC Questions.

    Apparently he vowed not to.

  12. Bill Fleming 2014.09.24

    Roger, they never asked him any!

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.24

    Craig, this post implies that. This post asserts that if the EB-5 program had remained under the strict control of the state, if the fees the investors paid had gone to the state general fund instead of to private pockets, the state could have used those fees to mitigate or perhaps completely avoid Governor Daugaard's 10% budget cuts and all of the los of jobs and service arising therefrom.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.24

    Bill, apparently not.

    Over on Northern Plains News, it is being reported that GOAC is trying to pare down 70 written questions to a "manageable number".

  15. mike from iowa 2014.09.24

    and this is a surprise-how? Madvillains wrote this script months ago and rehearsed it so well we could repeat it verbatim.

  16. Jaka 2014.09.24

    Bill Fleming-do your math again,,,,$150,000x304 investors exceeds 45,600 by a whole lot! sorta like the Rounds camp's math of 5000 jobs I assume

  17. Jaka 2014.09.24

    $150,000 x 304=$45,600,000.00

  18. Bill Fleming 2014.09.24

    Yes, Jaka, my typo. The number is as you have calculated. I was trying to see if it came up to the $127M Crusty was talking about, and it didn't. But of course my post as typed didn't make that clear. Thanks for the heads up!

  19. Jane Smith 2014.09.25

    Per Regents Joopster self-contract is illegal, why isn't he arrested? The GOP has politicized this issue instead of due process of law. Very weak and shameful. Joopster may be long gone, fat with the spoils of SD!

Comments are closed.