One of the numerous violations of state law Joop Bollen appears to have committed while running Mike Rounds's EB-5 visa investment program is his representation of the state in court in the Darley v. SDIBI lawsuit. Bollen submitted a pro per pleading to federal court in California to defend the agency he ran, the South Dakota International Business Institute, from EB-5 recruiter Darley's effort to force SDIBI into arbitration over a contract dispute. Bollen is not a lawyer. He never had Attorney General Larry Long's authorization to speak for the state in court. He broke the law to conceal the lawsuit from his bosses, a violation of state risk management policy.
But when deposed by Board of Regents attorney Chaka Okadigbo on April 16, 2014, Bollen denied that he authored that August 22, 2008, pleading:
[Okadigbo]: Okay. I've just handed you a document, it appears to be a pleading that's filed according to it, in Pro Per, it has your name and SDIBI's information on the top left part of the pleadings. So my question to you is, you had told Mr. Meyer about this case in January of 2009, but according to these pleadings, if we go by the proof of service that is located I believe on the last page -- well, second to the last page before the page that says mailing list, it indicates a proof of service date of August 22, 2008. So I guess my question to you is, looking at these pleadings, it's my impression that you, on behalf of SDIBI, had this document filed in federal court, is that correct?
[Bollen]: It's not correct.
[Okadigbo]: Okay. Can you tell me -- first of all, did you participate in the preparation of the pleadings that I've just handed to you?
[Bollen]: The only thing I did was prepare the statement of fact that I e-mailed to Hanul, from what I recall.
[Okadigbo]: Okay. So you prepared the statement of fact?
[Bollen]: Statements of fact.
[Okadigbo]: Statements of fact.
[Bollen]: In e-mail format, yeah, just Word document with the bullet points.
[Okadigbo]: Okay. So who came up with the legal arguments in this pleading?
[Bollen]: I would suspect Hanul.
[Okadigbo]: Okay. It wasn't you?
[Bollen]: It wouldn't be anybody -- it was not me, that's correct [Joop Bollen, deposition 1, Darley v SDIBI, April 16, 2014, pp. 93–94].
Review the pleading. It has Bollen's signature. Whoever, if anybody, cribbed it for him, Bollen took ownership of it. And by preparing, signing, and submitting it, Bollen broke state law in a clear attempt to hide his shady activities from his superiors.