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Bollen, Benda, Obama Killed EB-5 in South Dakota, Not Ross and Mercer

Last updated on 2014.11.11

Joop Bollen is trying to distract the Government Operations and Audit Committee from his illegitimate contract with himself, his apparent mismanagement of Northern Beef Packers, and his multiple violations of state policy and law by claiming that reporters like Denise Ross and Bob Mercer have wrecked South Dakota's chances of making more money from the EB-5 visa investment program.

Joop Bollen appears to forget that Governor Dennis Daugaard yanked Bollen's contract and put EB-5 on ice before any journalists started digging into South Dakota's EB-5 program. Bollen's own narrative to GOAC suggests that many in the state wanted to back away from the "liabilities" of EB-5 (which were what, Joop, if everything was being run properly?) back in 2009; the program hung on only because Bollen, Richard Benda, and the Governor's Office wanted to keep that money train rolling. Bollen ignores the fact that South Dakota at his behest (and with Mike Rounds's support) gave up the key competitive advantage of public, state-run status for its EB-5 program, making it harder for us to stand out among the growing number of EB-5 Regional Centers.

Maybe Bollen should switch to blaming Obama. Monday, the President announced that the U.S. will offer new, longer visitor visas to Chinese citizens. Starting today (November 12), tourist and business visas for Chinese visitors jump from one year to ten years. Student and exchange visas stretch from one year to five years.

Keep in mind that one attraction of EB-5 visas has been for wealthy Chinese to buy their kids' way into the country so they can attend American universities. But EB-5 visas cost $500K in at-risk investment plus tens of thousands in fees for lawyers and middlemen like Joop Bollen. President Obama's visitor visas don't give permanent residency the way an EB-5 visa can, but five years on an extended visa for a $160 application fee might sound like a bargain to a lot of folks considering EB-5.

South Dakota reporters are not killing EB-5. South Dakota has lost its EB-5 edge due to decisions made by South Dakota's EB-5 czar and his collaborators in state government. The President's new visa deal with China may reduce EB-5 demand even further.


  1. 96Tears 2014.11.12

    If the press and the public wanna stop bank holdups, they should just stop putting money in banks.

    Again, the SDGOP's (and the perps') defense has been to keep the focus on the intricacies of the federal investments program and not on the con job of fleecing it for millions. They appear disappointed when unjaded reporters choose to report the criminality of their actions.

    Cory, never lose that poop sheet on the Rounds Racketeering Scam prepared last month by the SDGOP to "explain" things to their troops. That flyer, with the lies highlighted, needs to be put on the desk of every legislator during the 2015 session.

  2. Les 2014.11.12

    A thought for you, Cory, when those millions of brilliant Chinese students hit our borders, it will be all but impossible for our mediocre students to find their way in without a special pass for the disabled.

  3. Steve Sibson 2014.11.12

    And I am not buying Joop's argument that going private was necessary in order to compete with other states for EB-5 money. The state wasn't charging any fees, and after they went private, Joop added on fees thus making it more expensive and thereby less competitive. Unless there is something else more important that I am missing.

  4. Jim 2014.11.12

    In Joop's carefully crafted responses, that I suspect sveen probably wrote, he boast of 7K jobs eb-5 created, as recorded by the dept of commerce. They got their numbers from Joop correct? He could have told them eb5 created any number of jobs (10 per 500k was required), and just because dept of Commerce republishes the figure doesn't make it so.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.12

    You're absolutely correct, until we see a listing of all EB-5 businesses and the jobs they started with and the current level of employees, Joop, King, and Rounds are meaningless.

  6. mike from iowa 2014.11.12

    What,if anything,happened between Dec 2010 and Feb 2013? There is nothing listed in Bollen's email.

  7. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.12

    Bollen is behaving like the crooked crook he is. If it wasn't Chinese millionaires he was scamming, it would be little old ladies and gentlemen scraping by on Social Security. Bollen and his pals are cum.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.12

    OMG! I put an S on there, I swear!


  9. Jana 2014.11.12

    Deb...I had that same Jungian problem earlier.

    Although, they did whore themselves out to greed and unchecked political corruption...just sayin...

  10. Bill Fleming 2014.11.12

    Not. Saying. Nuttin. :-)

  11. leslie 2014.11.13

    you people have no pride nor scruples:)

  12. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.13

    Thank you leslie, I pride myself for the lack of scruples.

Comments are closed.