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.
“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?