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Banking Commission Still Investigating SDRC Inc.

In the "No News Is Bad News" Department, I was wondering if the South Dakota Banking Commission had ever ruled on whether SDRC Inc., the controversial Aberdeen company into which Joop Bollen privatized his state duties as EB-5 visa investment manager, was a bank. Recall that in November 2013, I reported that SDRC Inc. had engaged in lending activities but never obtained a state lending license and never paid state bank franchise tax. Brown County, which could be out $1.76 million in tax payments from SDRC Inc., asked the state Banking Commission to look into SDRC Inc's bank status in September. Banking Commission Bret Afdahl said at that point the commission was looking into the issue and that companies like SDRC Inc. usually responded to requests for information within 30 days.

I contacted Director Afdahl Monday and asked what the Banking Commission had found or decided. Afdahl replied thus:

The Division of Banking is investigating whether a license is necessary for SDRC, Inc. and that investigation is not yet complete [Bret Afdahl, South Dakota Banking Commission, e-mail, 2015.01.13].

That sentence means what you think it means: SDRC Inc. remains under investigation, 90 days after we would have expected SDRC Inc. to have responded to the Banking Commission's request, and the Commission cannot comment further. But the rest of us can.


  1. John 2015.01.15

    Love the SD gag law. Even if the banking commission investigates they Can't tell the public what they found.

  2. Jeff Barth 2015.01.15

    Sounds like it is not acting in haste or as a rubber stamp.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.15

    Let's hope that's the case, Jeff!

    The gag law—I should have thought of that. John, do you know how much the gag law will allow the banking commission to tell us when the investigation is over?

  4. leslie 2015.01.15

    30 days...doh!!

    hahah-republicans likely appointed this commission and bret himself, stooges? i could be wrong, and about some of the fine details below, but i am all for integrity, if they demonstrate it.

    in case anyone forgot, daugaard appointed tidemann, most republican majority GAOC members, rounds' GOED appointee benda, republican appointed Regents, NSU administrators, lawyers, lawyers ,lawyers paid by the state (mostly associated with republican AG's office), auditors, auditors, auditors paid or contracted by the state employed by rounds and daugaard administrations, and finally joop (immaculent conception?);

    all these republicans are responsible for this "vast right wing conspiracy" to cover up the EB5 fraud and elect the original 3 stooges-rounds, daugaard and jackley of SD, 2014.

    republican voters are ultimately responsible however i have reeled in my view a bit in light of lessons learned from the world reaction to Islamic cartoon murders last week. i gave democrat lawyer duffy a hard time about his church's responsibility for its own criminal cover-up, and apologized then, here.

    "Curley" Rounds (like it mfi??) of course has been elevated to our national Three Stooges. puppets all.

  5. leslie 2015.01.15


  6. jerry 2015.01.15

    Slow walking and hoping like hell that everyone will forgetaboutit. They only prove that they are incompetent, incapable political animals that will only move when there is a handout to them.

  7. leslie 2015.01.15


  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.15

    Jerry, I won't forget. Hence my call.

    Leslie, I hate to waste good tar. We've got roads to fix.

    And before I shout cover-up or foot-dragging, I'm willing to see what's going on. Consider that at this point, there's no advantage to foot-dragging. Rounds is safely in the Senate; bad news for SDRC Inc. and Joop right now would not indict Rounds any more than such bad news a few months from now. If they are planning to declare SDRC Inc is not a bank, they could have done that last October and bolstered the case that the EB-5 scandal was just partisan puffery.

    Let's give the Banking Commission time to gether its information. There's no rush on either side... although Brown County could use the money.

  9. jerry 2015.01.15

    What surprise me about Brown County is that they seem to be fine and dandy getting screwed out of about 2 million in revenue. Those folks there must be rolling in the moolah to just poo poo a couple of million. No wonder the EB-5 worked so good there and why they overwhelmingly voted for Rounds. We taxpayers need to demand that Brown County be removed from consideration for Daugaard's puny road fixin plans.

  10. Bob Klein 2015.01.15

    You can always recycle the tar.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.15

    Brown County brought the complaint, Jerry, so maybe they, too, are granting the Banking Commission some patience to go through the process thoroughly and get things right.

    Bob—I like recycling... but I think reclaiming that material from the procedure Leslie recommended would sting a little.

  12. Jane 2015.01.16

    Don't be surprised if any remaining documents (evidence) has been used in the fireplace to keep those defiant invincibles warm this winter. Gets expensive to heat those big fat homes ya know.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.16

    True, Jane—the longer we wait, the more time passes for evidence to disappear. But it seems to me we have all the evidence we need on the record to establish that SDRC Inc. made loans, functioned like a bank, and thus should have been paying taxes like a bank.

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