Press "Enter" to skip to content

Selective Prosecutions: If Benda Deserved Arrest, So Does Bollen

Dakota War College has tried to brand itself as the main outlet for all news "SDSenate2014," yet DWC author Powers has doggedly avoided discussing any of the big news that has made South Dakota's U.S. Senate race nationally newsworthy. Powers's alternatively sparse and spinfully selective coverage of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Northern Beef Packers, EB-5, Joop Bollen, and Richard Benda puts the lie to any claim Powers makes to journalism or your attention. Someone's got to seek the whole truth on GOED/NBP/EB-5/Bollen/Benda, and it's not going to be Dakota War College.

Attorney General Marty Jackley has shown a similarly irresponsible selectivity in his approach to the GOED/NBP/EB-5 scandal. Recall that last summer, AG Jackley signaled a change in the official narrative about the $550,000 in Mike Rounds Future Fund money that outgoing GOED chief Richard Benda redirected from NBP to EB-5 money laundry SDRC Inc. and (mostly) his own loan-monitoring salary. At the July 29, 2014 Government Operations and Audit Committee hearing, Jackley unbidden released a never-before-hinted arrest warrant for grand theft and embezzlement that Jackley said he had been planning to file against Benda before Benda's suspicious death on October 20, 2013.

Whether Richard Benda committed a crime when he shook down NBP for that half-million-plus remains unanswered. But if Benda did commit a crime—and AG Jackley's unprecedented release of an unexecuted arrest warrant can only be read as an attempt to hang that noose around a dead man's neck—he did not commit it alone. Every news report on that $550,000 transaction in January 2011 has said Benda carried the money from NBP to SDRC Inc. Benda did not put the money into his pocket. He carried the money to his new boss, Joop Bollen, who then wrote Benda checks on the SDRC Inc. account for $450,000.

If Richard Benda committed a crime, he did so at the behest of his employer, Joop Bollen. Bollen's company, SDRC Inc. knowingly received these ill-gotten funds, disbursed most of them to Benda, but kept another $100,000 for... well, for who knows what.

Benda is dead, but Bollen is not. Benda has been branded a crook by a never-executed arrest warrant, but Bollen roams free, shielded from arrest and scrutiny by the most powerful Republicans in the state.

Forget subpoenaing Joop Bollen. If Attorney General Marty Jackley believes his own pronouncements against Richard Benda, he should be making the same pronouncements against Benda's partner in crime Joop Bollen and executing an arrest warrant on the SDRC Inc. boss right now.


  1. mike from iowa 2014.10.16

    What changed between October of last year when Jackley hisownself said that the Benda/missing money investigation was closed,to this Summer when all of a sudden it was re-opened? Maybe Rounds and crew decided to show the state they were actually taking some of the EB-5 scandal seriously. It is an election year,afterall.

  2. 96Tears 2014.10.16

    Exactly what I've been wondering this past week. Consider Jackley's explanation, revealed hardly two months ago, for lining up three felony warrants and a grand jury to pursue Mr. Benda one year ago. If he wasn't lying, then Jackley has even more reason to pursue Bollen.

  3. lesliengland 2014.10.16

    we have a criminal justice system in this state that is not working prior to a national senate race. that is a big fuc*ing deal.

    we have already seen another state administration obfuscate a conspiracy with money, chris christie evaded MSNBC's efforts.

    those in power control information to cover up crime from the inquiring public.

  4. 96Tears 2014.10.16

    States rights = Systemic corruption.

  5. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    Gordon Howie really took after no show Mike Rounds on the KSOO debate. Howie is such a big threat to Rounds, so Tricky Dick Wadams has to bring in the Fake Tea Party Express to try and sway votes away from Howie. Keep hammering Rounds Gordon, because you are an honest Republican. We need to go to SDWC and defend attacks on Howie. He truly can expose Rounds for what he really is.

  6. oldguy 2014.10.16

    Very good point CAH as I have always thought Bollen is a crook

  7. Kate 2014.10.16

    The question, as always, is "Where is the money?" Does anyone know? I don't think Benda had it. My guess is Bollen does - and so do a lot of SD gop legislators, the attorney general, Board of Regents members - anyone helping to cover up this mess. Is somebody following the money?

  8. mike from iowa 2014.10.16

    Bollen practiced law w/o a license. That is a major no-no.There should have been a bench order for his immediate arrest and incarceration. Instead,Bollen pulled a Haber dashery and lit out for the Phillipines.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.16

    Mike reminds us that we have a whole docket of charges on which AG Jackley could arrest Bollen, above and beyond anything he's accused Benda of doing. Yet Jackley has not acted. Why not, Marty?

  10. Jenny 2014.10.16

    Bollen's not talking so he knows where the millions is. I'd like to know if any South Dakotan has ever gone up to Rounds or Daugaard and asked them to explain themselves, step by step, about what happened with EB5. Would they talk? I would not take 'I'm too busy' for an answer. South Dakotans deserve an answer.
    SD just wants to think that there politicians are supermen that can do no wrong.

  11. Jenny 2014.10.16

    Jackley is stalling until Rounds is safely elected before arresting Bollen, but if I was Rounds I would be scared to death of what Bollen says when he finally talks.
    I would think it's hard to sleep at night for ol' Don thinkin' about his Golden Boy.

  12. Danno 2014.10.16

    Is Joop still in the Philippines?

  13. Jim 2014.10.16

    I think technically he practiced in California, not SD. It seems pretty clear the marching order are to leave Joop alone and don't push for records he has stashed. The public can't get any straight answers which contributes to speculation, which Rounds then says we shouldn't do. Mike, since you won't come clean on the thing, you don't give us much choice. If we had those records, I suspect we would find a link between the investors who wanted their own loan monitors at NBP to oversee the project, and Epoch Star and Maverick Spade. Remember, certain investors wanted a guy on the ground to see just what the hell was going on with the project. They were told that would be far too expensive, and besides Benda was already doing that. When the thing goes south, the investors who wanted a monitor are upset about being lied to, and concoct the scheme to get a greased through Epoch Star and Maverick Spade.

    Cory, what do you think?

  14. bearcreekbat 2014.10.16

    Practicing law without a license does not appear to be a crime in South Dakota. It is not permitted, but the remedy under SDCL 16-18-1 is a civil injunction relief, not a criminal prosecution.

  15. 96Tears 2014.10.16

    Obstructing access to evidence by altering, destroying or concealing it is a felony. Tax evasion is a crime. Misrepresenting oneself to obtain money that is not yours is a crime. Using the mail to commit crimes is a felony.

    These crimes are mere pocket change for the network created by the Mike Rounds Administration and continued by the Dennis Daugaard Administration to fleece the EB-5 program. The state and the feds have ample evidence to haul people involved into jail.

    How could any prosecutor not be thinking about RICO actions with secret Caymen Island and Virgin Island bank accounts, the no-bid contract arrangements made to guarantee SDRC's control of money laundering and the purposeful decision to not allow oversight and transparency to how public money got spent except to those who are on the inside?

    Instead of appearing as a member of the U.S. Senate, Mike Rounds belongs in front of a grand jury to spill his guts and to face possible counts involving his administration's racketeering scam.

    Jackley ... Jackley ... Jackley ...

  16. 96Tears 2014.10.16

    4 more days to the first anniversary of Richard Benda's violent and mysterious death.

    A full month later, the Attorney General declared it a suicide, but has since walked that back by attributing the declaration to others. Details of that suicide that we're allowed to know make it difficult to believe that was how the gun fired. The Attorney General two months after Benda's death used a phony excuse to renege on his pledge to allow two news reporters access to review the official death report.

    Hardly two months ago, the Attorney General announced he lined up three felony counts and a grand jury to pursue Mr. Benda on embezzlement of $550,000, and Gov. Daugaard announced he would hire a Pierre lawyer to find ways to get that half-million back. This week the Board of Regents refused to release Joop Bollen's deposition, but a whip smart reporter named Bob Mercer found another way to snag it.

    Nobody knows and nobody can find access, other than Bollen and perhaps some affiliated with the Board of Regents, to the records of these EB-5 transactions. We estimate, based on what little information has been clawed out by reporters and this blog, that the state was jilted out of $140,000,000. Is Gov. Daugaard going to hire an army of Pierre lawyers to find out how to get that money back?

    Drip. Drip. Drip.

    That's the sound of Mike Rounds running down the clock.

  17. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    I bet Bollen talks before the election. And what really happened to Dusty Johnson?

  18. lesliengland 2014.10.16

    DELAY/DISTRACT- a conspiracy similar to the 01.19.09 dinner the night our 1st black prez was sworn in, pledging to OBSTRUCTIONISM BY THE GOP in all matters, is what is happening now in South Dakota.

    1. Gov. Rounds' Lt. Gov. Daugaard works with deceased Richard Benda, cabinet advisor and Director/Econ Dev on EB5.

    2. Rounds hires Joop Bollen as Board of Regent's Dir. of EB5.

    3. Benda and Bollen go beserk while Daugaard says he knew nothing and Rounds said it was a federal matter that Democrats created. They create shell corporations, Grand Cayman loans, Chinese and Korean travel and mayhem, federal lawsuits against the state, sign state contracts to personal corporations, hide behind California lawyer/partners, and local turkey lawyers, and generally seem immune from scrutiny and oversight.

    4. Jackley and the AG's hundreds of employees and tens of thousands of law enforcement follow the GOP (Republican Sheriffs, State's attorneys, County Commissioners) and do nothing, except provoke Benda's suicide, so the matter unpredictably becomes public.

    5. Rounds feels the heat, blames the suicide Director, blames the Board of Regents for Bollen's disaster, and their lawyers and Rounds/Daugaard appointed Board Members hide, lose, and refuse to provide requested records except some they select to give to Dem. committee member Tyler right before the September committee meeting which contain Regent's legal billing records that MADVILLE TIMES tears apart.

    The Republican state bar association does nothing to pursue Bollen's illegal practice of law on behalf of the state.

    6. Rounds lies in writing to the Committee but he was not under oath because his appointee Ch. Tidemann refused to subpoena the two governors, Bollen or their stolen files and records.

    7. The Regents have done nothing, except obstruction by their lawyers, to retrieve or shelter information from public knowledge.

    8. Daugaard announces email records have been deleted.

    9. How much are the Regent's CEO's, our Education Superintendants, paid? A lot. How much are their teachers paid. Not much. Makes you think. This board is incompetent.

    10. Chris Christie paid $1 million to a Woods/Fuller type law firm in NJ to obstruct state and fed. investigators. MSNBC put its full weight on exposure of the fraud to no avail. That may happen here.

    11. Our past two governors are incompetent. Their appointees are incompetent. Their Attorney general and his hundreds of enployees and all of the tens of thousands of law enforcement members are completely ineffective. They are under the spell of the GOP. They are doing nothing to expose crime.

    12. Their good ole' boys exist under every rock as we see here when troy, grudz, les and their ilk surface to distract.

    13. Our press boards are under the spell of the GOP. Today RCJ reporter Staikowski's front page article attacked Weiland while saying nothing of Rounds $9 million, and his recent latest receipt of PAC money.

    The GOP is incompetent, corrupt, and all powerful with no real and transparent accountability and if South Dakota voters do not reject them, the laughing stock, turnip joke is on us all.

  19. 96Tears 2014.10.16

    What are you doing Oct. 20th, the first anniversary of Richard Benda's death? Oddly enough ... they're holding a birthday bash for Mike Rounds.

  20. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.16

    Happy Birthday Mike Rounds, it would be appropriate for you and your guests to all be wearing the shiny dunce hats.

  21. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    The Mike Myers campaign will be holding a press conference at the downtown library at 10:00 am in Sioux Falls on the one year anniversary of Richard Benda's death. We just might have some new information for you.

  22. Lynn 2014.10.16

    Tara Mike Myers during the SDPB debate said he would put new spark plugs in the machine at Pierre. We don't need that corrupt machine to run even better. We need to dismantle it!

    I do look forward to Meyers/Hubble throwing their full support for Wismer/Blake at the presser though! That is great!

  23. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.16

    I'll vote for Gordon on the condition he name the SDOP operative that tried to buy him off.

  24. Francis Schaffer 2014.10.16

    I heard the GOP is selling hunting apparel. Something about vests, orange and bullet proof.

  25. lesliengland 2014.10.16

    npr said today SD's pheas. hunting season is worth $150 mill. 2014, same as EB5 fraud. SDGOP cover-up, incalcuable. attendance at governor's hunt, priceless.

  26. grudznick 2014.10.16

    Do people pay $150 million dollars to go to this hunt? That seems insaner than most things.

  27. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    Lynn, really? Quit being a wimp. Tune in Mon., and you will see the gloves are off.

  28. grudznick 2014.10.16

    Mr. Meyers is a very theatrical fellow, Ms. Volesky. I, for one, welcome his diversions and entertainment. Is Ron on board with him and going to throw his weight behind the campaign, because that would mean something to a lot of people.

  29. Lynn 2014.10.16

    Tune in Monday for what? The press does not cover those two anymore unless it will be an endorsement of course.

  30. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    Ok, your choose. If you want to vote for Rounds/Daugaard and Wismer/Blake for take over of education and health care, then don't vote Myers/Hubbel. Over 90% of the Doctors of SD will vote for Michael Myers because he is for Initiative 17 Patients Choice. The other 2 are for corporate Insurance industries run by Avera and Sanford. Your choice. Think for yourself, not the corporations.

  31. grudznick 2014.10.16

    Probably Mr. Myers' biggest mistake was picking that pretty young Ms. Hubbel as his running mate. He is a bit eccentric and cute about it, in the way many of my generation are, but she is just insaner than most.

  32. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.16

    Are we taking wagers on how many pushups Myers will do at the Monday presser?
    Or will he have breaking news on some aspect of the EB-5 scandal that we already know about?

  33. Lynn 2014.10.16

    "Over 90% of the Doctors of SD will vote for Michael Myers because he is for Initiative 17 Patients Choice" Really? Wow! With the endorsement of the Hempsters all 10 of them that got out of bed to march in the protest parade in Huron the Governors election is locked up then for Meyers/Hubbel.

    Roger I doubt we will even hear or read about the presser Monday since the press pretty much ignores them anymore.

  34. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    Yes Myers/Hubbel have been endorsed by SoDakLiberty. You guys are so conservative and will not go outside the box. I like Rick Weiland because he will support medical marijuana and Independents and 3rd party candidates. Weiland is a populous. He is for the people. He is the real deal and you are not helping him by dissing Mike Myers.

  35. Lynn 2014.10.16


    Myers/Hubbel will have the votes from 90% of South Dakota's doctors, 10 Hempsters that somehow got out of bed for a parade and now has been endorsed by SoDakLiberty which is a blog/one guy or the Libertarian party which includes Annette Bosworth, Chad Haber though I don't believe it would be legal for Stranahans Jr or Sr to vote this time since they are back in TX and were never SD residents.

  36. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    Say Lynn, maybe you should talk to Dr. Pete Looby. He admires Professor Myers because Myers is fighting against big hospital monopolies against the people and Drs for patients choice. You guys just don't get it. Make a call to Dr. Looby who represents over 90% of the Doctors and patients for Initiative17. THINK FOR YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!! Do you really want to be controlled by corporate Insurance and Hospital monopolies?

  37. tara volesky 2014.10.16

    Myers/Hubbel are for Patients Choice.

  38. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.16

    What is this thing where Tara usually end up telling us to call somebody that represents her position. If she wants someone to speak for her, tell them to come to Madville Times and do so.

  39. lesliengland 2014.10.16

    grud, grud, grudz...wait up. they just might pay millions for denny's hunt as you speculate.

    didja hear rounds' brother, the state's risk expert who prepared hundreds of cases in litigation for the gov. -he summarized the EB5 case but forgot-so he'll likely be there at your cost;

    AND rounds' sister that consults for POWERTECH, you know the company rounds changed the permitting rules for, (i mean ELIMINATED the permitting rules for), so they can pump water into uranium mine bore-holes? They'll prolly all be there. less birds for the outtastaters though:(

    whatddayah suppose the value of protecting water quality is? could be kind of alot? just ask yer buddys up at brohm mine what the cost of cleaning the water, per gallon, maybe, would be. for years. let us know will yah.

    perhaps there is a pretty lady employee up there that you can feel entertained by, big girl pants and all:)

  40. Bill Fleming 2014.10.17

    GOAC, a subpoena is a terrible thing to waste.

  41. 96Tears 2014.10.17

    Agreed. How stupid of Tidemann and Rounds' clowns on that committee to let themselves be talked into helping Rounds stonewall the truth of how he incompetently ran state government. Craig Lawrence, from that lucrative no-bid contract advertising agency, is threatening lawsuits against the DSCC for telling the truth on Rounds and his fellow crooks:

    Wait til Lawrence and the other Rounds clowns see this shot from our friend Gordon Howie:

    That sound you'll be hearing from the southeast corner of the state today will be some clown heads exploding.

  42. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    Hope you are all at the Rounds Rally in Sioux Falls with your Gordon Howie posters.

  43. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.17

    It is hard to believe that 90% of the doctors in South Dakota would waste their vote on Mike Myers.

  44. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    It's not a wasted vote when Mike is on the side of Doctors and Patients. When I tell you to call them it's because Dr. Looby is an expert in Health Care, Michael Myers is an expert in Health Care, and I am not an expert. You are to chicken to call and ask for yourself because the Democrat position is for Big Insurance and Big hospital take over of health care. Raising the minimum wage is the safe topic, kind of like the Sex trafficking issue for the Republicans. Get on the side of Rick Weiland, he agrees with Myers.

  45. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    Mike Myers number is, 605-659-4681. I bet Roger, you will not call him because you can't think for yourself. Come Roger, you big talker. Big hat, no cattle.

  46. JeniW 2014.10.17

    Is Dr. Looby representing 90% of the doctors that are in favor of IM 17, or is he representing 90% of all the doctors in SD? or 90% of the doctors who have a specialty practice? It would be interesting to see the list of all the doctors who are in favor of IM 17.

    When I read 90% of the doctors.... it makes me think of the toothpaste commercials that state "9 out of 10 dentist...."

  47. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.17

    Tara, there isn't a reason in the world I need to call Myers, other than to tell him to drop out and endorse Wismer, Weiland, and Robinson.
    Sorry I don't own a cap or hat, so that is out.
    Not everybody in South Dakota, including me, is in the cow business.
    Tara, how did you arrive at that 90% of doctors in the state supporting Myers? Did you ask Dr. Kevin Weiland that question in your polling

  48. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    I have already talked to Kevin. They are on the same page. Roger you sound like a Conservative, very narrow-minded.

  49. Craig 2014.10.17

    So we have a campaign manager calling people chicken, suggesting they can't think for themselves, and that they are all talk.... am I supposed to be impressed or embarrased?

    Such maturity on display - I can't possibly understand why Myers doesn't poll in double digits when he surrounds himself with this level of professionalism and leadership.

    Back in the real world, the only segment of the voting population that Myers is likely to capture are registered voters with the last name Volesky. There is no way 90% of doctors are going to support a candidate who clearly has zero chance of winning this election, and his support of a ballot initiative is not enough to justify a wasted vote. This issue is being decided by the voters, thus Myers' opinion on the topic isn't all that useful. Besides, one issue voters tend to focus on things like gun rights or abortion... I sincerely doubt support of IM17 is going to be the key issue during the election.

    But hey - if true that doctors (and I mean real physicians... not Chiropractors or Naturopaths) support Myers then surely they should be willing to toss him a few campaign dollars or appear in a printed flyer right? I won't hold my breath waiting.

  50. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    Now I have to retype this Dr Looby stated 95% of all Drs. 2000 plus support Initiative measure 17. Just follow the money. Do you want to be on the side of DRS and Patients or Corporate Medicine, CEO's and the Chamber of Commerce.

  51. Lynn 2014.10.17

    Tara so Meyers/Hubbel have the Governor's race locked up? Wismer/Blake & DD/Michaels will be fighting for 2nd.

    Meanwhile today's forecast here on Mars will include a slight dust storm with the Comet Siding Spring passing by.

  52. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.17

    So, how did you arrive at the 90% of South Dakota doctors supporting and voting for Myers?
    When you talked to Dr. Kevin Weiland did he pledge to support Myers. From following Dr. Weiland and communicating with him by email, he seems to be a solid Democrat.
    You can call me a conservative if that fits your fancy, but most rational people believe I am the epitome of a liberal, thank you.
    And, I have never been "too chicken" to talk to anybody whether they be politicians or doctors. I served on a local non-profit board of directors for nine years and had to confront and question doctors on a number of issues. Just because they are a doctor or a politician does not always make them right.

  53. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.17

    Oh, and by the way Tara, I support IM17.

    Craig stated it best, IM17 is going to determine the results of this election any more than IM18 could.

  54. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.17

    OOPS! That should be "IM17 isn't going to determine the results of this election...."

  55. jerry 2014.10.17

    Tara, can you explain to the crowd here how there will still be out of network charges even if 17 passes? Here is the deal, not all providers are considered for contract by the insurance companies. Reasons may be the over-saturation of that particular field or the fact of not being able to receive a favorable contract with the provider. Patients can still see whomever they wish to see, but may have to pay out of network costs, that same thing will still be in play no matter how this initiative turns out. This is not a federal government mandate, but a state mandate that does not take to much of a look to see what it really is, a give away to the already over charging medical field. The legislature could not see the reason for this and neither can the division of insurance. This greed is even to stinky for them to smell.

  56. JeniW 2014.10.17

    When I read the details of the IM 17, it sounded to me like it would impact a select few.

    The use of "Patient Choice" IMO, is way too simplistic. People should really read the wording (which is a little vague,) before they vote yay or nay.

    The question I have about IM 17 is whether something similar to it has been used in other states, and what has been the good, the not so good, and unintended consequences.

  57. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    Why do you think SD's insurance costs are so high? That would be a great discussion for Myers and Susan. In fact I was there in Pierre when they had that discussion. Maybe you should ask Susan what she thinks of Myers Care? Remember Myers is an expert when it comes to Health Care, just like Susan is an expert when it comes to accounting. Don't complain when your costs keep going up.

  58. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    I don't think Kevin Weiland wants to be controlled by CEO's and big Insurance. If Patients want to have Dr. Weiland care for them, they should have that right. It's called patients choice.

  59. bearcreekbat 2014.10.17

    The argument that patient's should have a choice in their doctor is a good one, but really misstates the problem. All patients currently have that choice. The problem is that they might have to pay for exercising that choice because their insurance company limits which doctors that it will pay. It appears that IM 17 is aimed at stopping insurance companies from denying coverage merely because the doctor you choose is not part of the insurance company's provider network, so long as the doctor you choose agrees to accept whatever limitations on payments that your insurance company imposes on doctors within its provider network.

    After reviewing the online arguments of opponents, it appears to me that IM 17 is an improvement to the current system and ought to be supported.

  60. tara volesky 2014.10.17

    It you have Avera insurance, you can't see a Sanford Dr. unless you pay, same goes for Sanford insurance.

Comments are closed.