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Jackley Didn’t Talk to Bollen in EB-5/GOED Investigation

Last updated on 2014.11.13

In March 2013, South Dakota officials received eight subpoenas from federal officials seeking information about the state's use of the EB-5 visa investment program. Two men central to that EB-5 program were former Governor's Office of Economic Development secretary and EB-5 loan monitor Richard Benda and EB-5 czar Joop Bollen.

Attorney General Marty Jackley told us in November 2013 that his office never interviewed Richard Benda. Now AG Jackley tells us he didn't question Bollen, either:

“I did not meet with Mr. Bollen personally either during or after the investigation, nor have I talked with him,” Jackley said in an email.

“However, as he indicated in his responses because EB-5 is a federal program he met with federal authorities on several occasions, and I and DCI (state Division of Criminal Investigation) have reviewed those related reports during the state investigation,” he continued.

Jackley added, “I'm planning on further reviewing the materials recognizing what I've said from the beginning that EB-5 is a federal immigration program that federal officials have or are looking at for potential federal criminal violations” [Bob Mercer, "AG: Bollen Wasn't Questioned in Benda Investigation," Aberdeen American News, 2014.11.12].

Something goes wrong enough with a state economic development program being run by a couple former state employees that the FBI comes asking questions, and the Attorney General doesn't think it behooves him to talk with the leaders of that program? AG Jackley finds enough evidence against Benda to call a grand jury and prepare an arrest warrant against Benda for grand theft, but he never thinks he ought to talk to Bollen, the man running the company that had to process the money Benda allegedly stole?

Just as the federal aspect of EB-5 didn't stop Jackley from preparing to arrest and indict Benda, it should not stop him from questioning, not to mention arresting and indicting, Joop Bollen. Private investigation has uncovered multiple state laws and policies that Joop Bollen violated. Every one of Bollen's state-level violations—conflict of interest, fraudulent expropriation of state authority and revenue, etc.—stands independently of any detail of federal immigration policy and is entirely the South Dakota Attorney General's responsibility to prosecute.

So, Attorney General Jackley, do you think it might be time to play catch up and talk to Joop Bollen?


  1. Jane 2014.11.12

    What an American Dream! From liquor store clerk to working a Federal program for the State. From buying his Green card to selling it. Making millions quietly to ..... TBD.
    Determined Sooner than later, one would hope.

  2. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.12

    I'm not convinced Jackley was preparing to arrest Benda or preparing for a grand jury. If Jackley had the evidence on Benda, why the delay in arresting him, he didn't need a grand jury for that. How often does it happen that someone breaks the law that there is a delay in their arrest.

    Had Jackley done his job and arrested Benda when he had the opportunity, Benda might be alive today to tell his side of the story, or is that the reason he is dead? Mary Jackley has Richard Benda's blood on his hands.

    Why is Marty Jackley afraid of Joop Bollen, that is what this comes down to. Could it be that Joop just might tell some truths about this whole scandal that Jackley doesn't want to hear. Why is Jackley protecting Bollen and his millions in ill gotten gains?

  3. Jeff Barth 2014.11.12

    Travon Martin, Michael Brown, Richard Benda; the dead guy did it. Case closed.

  4. Jana 2014.11.13

    Marty had his fingers crossed behind his back when he raised his hand to take the oath.

    He's a show pony that is more concerned about his stature in the party and getting re-elected and then elected to higher office than he is in doing the job the tax payers charged him with.

    The biggest question is how he shaves without looking in the mirror.

    Marty, please feel free to prove me wrong.

  5. leslie 2014.11.13

    which is more tortured, jackley's phrasing or mercer's 11.12.14 article?

    AG jackley, a former US Attorney, didn't question joop or benda, dir. of SDIBI, or Secretary of Tourism, respectively in SD's "Bendagate" fraud in 2013. Gov. Daugaard, at taxpayer expense hired private law firms and private auditors with state government connections, to absolve him of responsibility; while former-Gov. Rounds hired a law firm with state government connections to threaten news media from reporting Democratic campaign allegation ads regarding federal EB5 implementation by SD.

    gov. chris christie, former US Attorney, didn't question his top aide (or others) when he fired her for incriminating the governor's office in NJ's "Bridgegate" political retribution in 2014. Christie hired at taxpayer expense ($1mill.) a private law firm with public connections to absolve him of responsibility.

    too big to jail?

  6. mike from iowa 2014.11.13

    This is just a little Peyton Place and they're all Harper Valley hypocrites.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.13

    The state's narrative is becoming more incoherent every day. Benda killed himself because of stress from the investigations, but Joop Bollen and Rory King insist Benda did nothing wrong. The FBI seeks evidence about wrongdoing in the EB-5 program, but the Attorney General doesn't talk to the two main players in the EB-5 program to find out what might be happening and whether the state may face liability. Mike Rounds says he had nothing to do with the details of EB-5, but NSU's lawyer says it was his idea and Bollen says his final private contract required approval from the Governor's chief of staff. What's the real story here?

    The sad thing is, I get the impression that Senator Tidemann and the majority on GOAC are not interested in finding out.

  8. 96Tears 2014.11.13

    The justice system in South Dakota is wrecked. Until the rats in Pierre are driven out of office, it will not change. The events and revelations made since Oct. 20, 2013, have proven that.

    The circular narrative strongly indicates that everyone, including Sen. Tidemann, have had a role in a big cover-up that implicates criminal wrong doing in the state's highest office. You can trust nothing any of these people say in public or under oath.

  9. larry kurtz 2014.11.15

    Marty just lost in court when his motion to dismiss SD's marriage equality lawsuit failed: he's not invulnerable.

  10. jerry 2014.11.15

    The GOAC sounds like a car load of drunks that just wrecked the car, no one knows who was driving, but here we are in the ditch. The reason for all of their lying and misdirection is simple, they are all in on the take. That might be money or power that has been taken from South Dakota taxpayers through dishonest means. Of course, tomorrow is Sunday, so they will all get to set in their Amen corners and think of more ways to screw the public while they line their pockets, because, well, you know, all of these republicans are very pious.

    Tidemann is a fraud that leads the rest of the frauds. They are in so deep now, they cannot keep their stories straight which is a good thing as it proves their needs to be a stronger power involved to get to the bottom of this den of snakes.

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