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Deposition: Bollen Denies Writing Darley Pleading That He Signed

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.


  1. mike from iowa 2014.10.17

    Your last sentence makes no sense to Moi.

  2. Bill Fleming 2014.10.17

    Looks cut off at the end, Cory.

  3. Susan 2014.10.17

    Joop is a crook. He was helped by Hanul law firm throughout this process. Hanul law firm and its attorneys are not licensed to practice law in SD. The state just looks the other way.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.17

    Mike, Bill, sorry about that cutoff! I've restored the intended text.

    Susan, you make an important point. Even if Bollen were speaking the truth, the August 22, 2008, pleading still violates state law. Bollen had no authorization to represent the state in court, and neither did Hanul.

  5. Bill Fleming 2014.10.17

    This all begs the question that Rounds was asked and dodged the answer. Why didn't he fire Bollen when he found out what he was doing? Too bad the questioner attached his 'finding out' to the service of legal papers. Too bad for us for not getting the answer to the question, and too bad for Rounds for getting caught in a lie with his half-baked, wise- guy answer. EB-5 SD, so it goes...

  6. lesliengland 2014.10.17

    bollen, rounds employee, hiding from those not looking. until NSU said stop, finally.

  7. mike from iowa 2014.10.17

    Does anyone know how many people worked for Bollen besides his secretary?

  8. Jim 2014.10.17 wouldn't be anybody...

  9. PrairieLady - Gayle 2014.10.17

    Mike, I have asked that question too, and no one seems to know! There must be more underlings involved, who could possibly shed some light on this scam. Did Benda have any staff?

  10. wal 2014.10.17

    I have just read all of the dep..........and I believe that some of the bloggers could have gotten more information than what actually was put forward. One thing stuck out in my mind was on part 2 about page 210 ish, Joop was asked if he had any other dealings with Mr Park. He said no, not at this time or something similar. Any guesses? I don't think it had anything to do with the dog and its eye drops.

  11. lesliengland 2014.10.18

    writing the pleading might be illegal practice of law for a SD entity. same with other docs joop can't remember if he or seasoned cali. lawyer may have written.

  12. lesliengland 2014.10.18

    joop will prolly destroy hard drives ect. with evidence of what he wrote. jackley should be all over this stuff. maybe brendan is.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.18

    Might? Heck—is. The attorney general must authorize anyone representing the state. One must have a law license to represent anyone else. Joop broke the law, and the AG and host of other state officials knew it.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.18

    As further evidence that Joop was trying to hide the lawsuit from South Dakota "officials", he was totally surrounded by lawyers, he could of easily had one of them write it.

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