Charges: Bollen Used State Funds to Buy NBP TIF Bonds, Pay Buddy Patel, Buy Egyptian Loot

Egypt, New Kingdom, reign of Ramesses II, ca. 1279–1213 b.c. Painted cartonnage 2011.017.001 Gift of Joop Bollen. Photo from Emory Michael C. Carlos Museum.
Maybe not the artifact, but one of Bollen’s Egyptian artifacts: Egypt, New Kingdom, reign of Ramesses II, ca. 1279–1213 b.c. Painted cartonnage 2011.017.001 Gift of Joop Bollen. Photo from Emory Michael C. Carlos Museum.

He just had to have that mummy mask.

Today the state filed five felony charges against former EB-5 visa investment czar Joop Bollen of Aberdeen. The state charges Bollen with five counts of violating SDCL 44-1-2, “unauthorized disposal of personal property subject to security interest.” Specifically, the state alleges that on five occasions in 2012, Bollen used Indemnification Fund #2, a.k.a. “Contingency Fund #3”, which Bollen was supposed to maintain to protect the state from trouble arising from EB-5, as his personal slush fund.

Recall that last October, the state sued Bollen’s EB-5 company, SDRC Inc., alleging that Bollen was refusing to give the state access to Indemnification Fund #2.

The probable cause affidavit submitted by DCI Special Agent Jon L. Bierne details the dates and amounts of Bollen’s alleged cookie-jar dipping:

#1: On February 17, 2012, Bollen transferred $300,000 from IF#2 to his EB-5 company SDRC Inc. account. He labeled the transfer “Joop and Pyush”. On the same day, Bollen moved $500,000 from the SDRC Inc. account to Brown County to buy TIF bonds on Northern Beef Packers, the doomed beef plant for which Bollen secured EB-5 funding. The affidavit notes that in 2015, Bollen collected $32,500 on those bonds and will continue to receive principal and interest payments on those TIF bonds until 2027.

#2: On April 13, 2012, Bollen transferred $370,000 from IF#2 to his SDRC Inc. account. He labeled this transfer “loan”. On the same day, Bollen transferred $410,000 from the SDRC Inc. account to Pyush Patel, a Georgia gas station owner who has been listed as Bollen’s vice-president at SDRC Inc. since 2012.

#3: On April 27, 2012, Bollen transferred $96,838.74 from IF#2 to SDRC Inc. On the same day, Bollen transferred that same amount from SDRC Inc. to Christie’s Fine Art, apparently to purchase an Egyptian artifact. (Christie’s did sell dozens of ancient Egyptian items from the Groppi Collection on April 26, 2012, but I see no individual artifacts matching that exact sale price.)

#4: On May 7, 2012, Bollen transferred $166,606.89 from IF#2 to an account labeled “LP3”. (LP3 was the designation Bollen used for the EB-5 funding for the Basin Electric Deer Creek power station.) On May 29, 2012, Bollen transferred those funds with most of the LP3 funds to the SDRC Inc. primary account.

#5: On June 19, 2012, Bollen transferred $310,000 from IF#2 to SDRC Inc. The next day, Bollen wired the same amount from SDRC Inc. to the Harer Family Trust, which holds and sells Egyptian antiquities.

That’s $1.24 million that didn’t belong to Bollen that Bollen used to benefit himself and his business partner Patel. According to Agent Bierne, Bollen appears to have replenished most of those cookies in the jar. However, Agent Bierne says that item #4, the May 7 transfer from IF#2 to LP3 and ultimately to SDRC Inc., was never paid back. That’s $166,606.89 that Bollen allegedly took from the state and never paid back.

All five counts are Class 6 felonies, each punishable with a maximum of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.

While we wait for Bollen’s initial appearance in court tomorrow morning, you can read the complaint and probable cause affidavits (each just five pages) here:

Bollen
Bollen received a 2014 award from Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum for his longtime support. It would seem that award belongs to all of us in South Dakota. You’re welcome, Emory! [From the Emory–Carlos Museum Spring 2015 newsletter.]

68 Responses to Charges: Bollen Used State Funds to Buy NBP TIF Bonds, Pay Buddy Patel, Buy Egyptian Loot

  1. Larry Tidemann must feel like the dumbest man to ever serve in the S.D. Legislature about now. He’s got lots of company. Cory, here’s one of my favorites from you. A damn fine rant!

    http://madvilletimes.com/2014/12/gutless-incurious-legislators-blame-dead-benda-for-eb-5-trouble/

  2. Richard Schriever

    Amount to Christies would probably include auctioneer fees, possibly shipping, taxes, and so on. So yes, unlikely to find an amount with an exact match to any item sold.

  3. At least he didn’t spend it all on hookers and blow

  4. Bill Dithmer

    Bollen pleads no contest, pays back all the money plus the 4 g for each count three years probation, banned from any government business ever again, with no time served.

    Thats the way I see it. Money never does much time for class 6 if they have enough money, and the right friends, or know something about those friends.

    For Joop its like dumpimg 50,000 gallons of toxic waste and having to pay a hundred dollar fine. Its just the cost od doing business.

    The Blindman

  5. Mrs. Nelson

    Aw poor Joop. Now he can’t go out for Chinese at Twin Dragon without being eyeballed…

  6. Richard, good point! If that’s the case, the nearest-priced items would be Lot #106, an Egyptian mosaic glass Maenad head inlay, and Lot #69, 40 Egyptian mosaic glass bars and inlay. Each went for $79,687 US.

  7. Francis Schaffer

    What about federal charges for wire fraud? Replenished with whose money? I would like to see his tax return if he replenished the money from his own bank account.

  8. I know, blindman. A poor boy can sit longer in prison for dealing drugs, yet this ugly Dutchman stole hundreds of thousands and the most he could get is two years. Great country isn’t it.

  9. If Jackley does anything more than slap the Joopster’s wrist the Joopster will throw Mike Rounds under the bus.

  10. Bill, I could see your scenario playing out. Class 6 felony is the same that Bosworth got, and she got no jail time. These charges are not theft, just misuse of funds that Bollen wasn’t free to use. Could this set of charges just be cover for everyone, including Bollen?

  11. Bill Dithmer

    If Jacklow had anything real, he would be bringing the heat. Class 6 makes everything new again, as long as all the players know their parts. MMR gets a pass for being a sleeper and chief, Joop gets out of it with a nice nest egg and no time, and Marty gets to be SDs next herd wrangler.

    The feds never stop investigating, but really unless something comes up in a civil case that rocks the country, that would be a long shot.

    Joop doesnt need no stinking legal team, the state bought his.

    The Blindman

  12. Mike Henriksen

    I bet he has already negotiated his fines. This was no ambush or he would not have been released. He writes a check, promises to not do it again, and the public gets zero new information. But the current administration can say “look what we did to that scoundrel! No need for the oversight commission!”. I hope I am wrong.

  13. Francis Schaffer – You are right on point. It would seem only to be a matter of will on the part of prosecutors. (Exhibit 1 = Marty Jackley)
    Beuller? Seiler?

  14. Bill Dithmer

    ” PORTIA

    The quality of mercy is not strained.

    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:

    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

    ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest.

    Folks, you have just been schooled. One man, Joop Bollen, has been both giving and taking, while at the same time screwing South Dakota from two directions.

    You have been Bollened.

    The Blindman

  15. Francis Schaffer

    Embezzlement anyone. Whoever has the mask is in possession of stolen property?

  16. Will Pat Powers put anything on his website, or will it go to deaf ears.

  17. Don’t wait for anything, Moses. Troy Jones don’t you think South Dakotans deserve to hear news about EB5 over in your neck of the woods at DWC?

  18. If no one else will ask it, will he perp walk like an Egyptian?

  19. Good one El Rayo!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv6tuzHUuuk

    Cory, should make a parody video of all the players of EB5 with the Egyptian song from the Bangles. It would be funny and lord know South Dakotans need some bit of humor to laugh at with all their mafia corruption happenings going on in their state.
    All the cops in Flandreau say walk like an Egyptian
    All the Good Ol’ Boys in Pierre say walk like an Egyptian and be GOP.

  20. Francis! Wire fraud! As I review the charges against former Revenue Dept. auditor Steven Knigge (reported here Monday), I find the federal wire fraud charges had to do with Knigge sending false information by e-mail. The actual transmission of ill-gotten money to other parties was under the charge of money laundering.

    But whichever it is, Francis points out there could well be some federal shoes to drop on Joop.

  21. Powers did two posts, two, just like me: first he posted the surprising press release from AG Jackley, then he posted reported here Monday), I find the federal wire fraud charges had to do with Knigge sending false information by e-mail. The actual transmission of ill-gotten money to other parties was under the charge of money laundering.

    But whichever it is, Francis points out there could well be some federal shoes to drop on Joop.”>some brief analysis. Of course, not smart enough to figure it out himself, he had to call an attorney friend to get the case documents and explain it for him. Pat then did a crappy job of explaining it.

    But Pat is walking an interesting line. He’s helping Jackley get the word out that, contrary to what GOAC concluded in 2014 (thanks for that reminder, 96!), someone other than Richard Benda really was up to no good in EB-5. Contrary to Pat’s poo-pooing of EB-5 coverage a partisan goose chase, there’s more “there” there, “there” worth the Attorney General himself coming to Aberdeen tomorrow just to preside over the initial hearing (I’m eager to see if he invites my wife to open the hearing with a prayer to help Aberdeen begin healing and achieve closure).

    Yet Pat’s two sentences of “analysis” play down these charges and the GEAR UP charges as “low level charges…. Not the most significant of charges, but sometimes you have to play the hand you’re dealt.”

    Watch that positioning. It sounds like what the Marty Jackley of Dithmer’s and Henriksen’s scenario would say: I cracked down on corruption, even though the corruption we found wasn’t as bad as those Democrats tried to puff it up to be. We don’t need a bunch of reforms; you just need to make me your Governor in 2018.

    But dominoes are falling. There aren’t enough fall guys in the grave, so Jackley is having to take some living, breathing defendants to court. Now we get documents. Now we get trials… unless, as Dithmer warns, we get pleas and minimal sentences.

    And heck, with $32,500 in free money coming back to him from the Brown County TIF and however much other money Bollen has coming in from rentals and other enterprises, what does Joop care if piddly-dink South Dakota hangs a couple small charges (pled down to misdemeanor from felony, à la Chad Haber) around his neck?

    But if Bollen does care (he’s still fighting the other lawsuits vigorously—dang! I need to post on that, too!), what will Jackley do? Whom could Joop take down with him, if he wants to fight? Whose hides might Jackley be risking?

  22. So our Republican dominated government squandered another fortune without producing any jobs. Have I got that right?

  23. Francis Schaffer

    So in his own word, ‘loan’ he was operating as a bank.

  24. Roger Cornelius

    I’ve been enjoying my evening by following Cory’s “I told you so” links to past Madville post about EB-5. It is amazing how accurate his reporting has been to this point.
    While this is good news about Joop, I agree that it all is all being taken to lightly by Jackley.
    There is still the mystery of what happened to all the Northern Beef Packers money and the $120 million in fees collected by Joop for green cards.
    It appears that Jackley has chosen the path of least resistance.

  25. Mark, not quite. It would appear Joop has helped keep the Egyptian antiquity dealers in business.

  26. Let us not forget that the Joopster may have been acting as a bank illegally or selling unregistered securities illegally. This may form the basis for some federal charges.

  27. Roger, you remind us of the bigger money that actually went poof. Should this tip of the iceberg motivate our Legislature to reconvene GOAC to revisit all of the EB-5 evidence this summer?

  28. If I were Jackley, I would send a trooper to Joop’s home to secure any SHOTGUNS.

  29. John Kennedy Claussen

    I wonder if the AG lately has been having any “Tuesdays with Morrie?”

  30. Thats all they could dig up? There must have some behind the napkin dealmaking. If they could find that, there must be more, and someone is busy flushing the potty. Brilliant , the Joopster and his crew will laugh themselves to the bank again. If the State has any intelligence they should find a way to confiscate the P/I from the TIF Bonds.

  31. Steve Sibson

    “So our Republican dominated government squandered another fortune without producing any jobs. Have I got that right?”

    I think EB5 is bipartisan federal program, much like GEARUP.

  32. Jenny,

    A couple of comments:

    1) CH has put a lot of hours (Maybe hundreds, CH?) trying to get what I think is a very cursory grasp of this issue. Matters like this require thousands of hours to begin to get an understanding that is more than speculation. I applaud CH for his effort and, after stripping out his bias and hyperbole, much of what I know has come from CH. Personally, I am hesitant to speculate on what occurred and don’t have the time to match (which is likely insufficient to really know) CH’s time investment. Thus, I’m not sure what could be added except to counter some of CH’s speculation to the degree there may be a different explanation.

    2) DFP and DWC reflect their sponsors. CH is a true believer in progressive orthodoxy and that is what he thinks about. PP is a person whose background is nuts and bolts of politics. Thus, CH is much more about advocacy while PP is much more about matters that move political outlook by people involved in politics. There is a difference (neither better or worse, just different). From PP’s perspective, until more is actually known, this issue isn’t affecting the political landscape right now and thus just reports the updates on what is happening.

    I come here because I often think about the many of the same things (not all) CH writes about even though I look at them from a different perspective. I go the DWC because I’m also interested in the politics of what is happening.

    3) Just a few months ago, the USDOJ announced another settlement/indictment (I forget which) related to the 2008 meltdown. These matters move slowly because reconstructing what occurred is laborious and it is the process which exposes what can be proven. We can all speculate but few people know.

  33. Troy, I prefer to say that my sponsors reflect DFP. Remember, I’ve had a few Republicans advertise here (e.g., current sponsor Stanford Adelstein). My writing does not respond to those sponsors; my sponsors see my writing and analysis and choose to support a quality product.

    On complexity and cursory grasps: the charges above are one small facet of a much larger get-rich scheme. But that facet isn’t that complicated:

    1. The state gave Bollen a contract.
    2. That contract required Bollen to keep some money in a secured account to protect the state.
    3. Bollen used money from that account for personal expenses.
    4. SDCL 44-1-2 says that’s a Class 6 felony.

    Unlike Pat, I didn’t need a lawyer friend to explain that. Pat doesn’t want more to be known. He doesn’t want to dig into the political implications, because the political implications are nothing but bad for the side that enjoys his advocacy.

    Pat does advocacy at least as much as I do. But even if we accept your distinction of our two blog approaches, there is plenty of political angle to this prosecution (the Attorney General coming to Aberdeen to lead a mere initial appearance and reading of charges? that seems dramatic) that Pat, the supposed politial nuts-and-boltser, could be discussing. My commenters are already firing away with that analysis; why isn’t Pat?

  34. Sibby, you deliberately miss Mark’s point. He’s talking about South Dakota government. The corruption doesn’t lie in the federal bipartisan origin of the programs (EB-5 signed by President GHW Bush, GEAR UP by President Clinton); it lies in the execution by South Dakota’s Republican crony regime.

  35. Darin Larson

    Sibby says: “I think EB5 is bipartisan federal program, much like GEARUP.”

    Yes, Sibby the important think to remember is if both parties are involved in creating a program on the federal level and then Republican cronies are appointed on no bid deals to administer the programs here in SD for their own corrupt benefit, the Democrats should have known at the outset that the Republicans would turn this program into a cash cow for their political buddies.

    You are hiliarious! This is why we can’t have nice things in South Dakota!

  36. Darin Larson

    Troy, you have quite the spin machine turned on this morning when you say:

    “PP is a person whose background is nuts and bolts of politics. Thus, CH is much more about advocacy while PP is much more about matters that move political outlook by people involved in politics.”

    If you want to say that CH does advocacy more in depth with more powerful persuasion than PP, I would agree. To say that PP is some sort of political reporter without an agenda is totally false. Is PP skewering the Rounds administration for this debacle? Is he noting the egg on the face of Larry Tidemann and commenting on Tidemann’s new challenger for his Senate seat? Is PP decrying the corruption that seems to ooze from the state’s executive branch administration? Is he talking about the political effects of Rounds’ scandal?

    What do we hear from PP? CRICKETS!

    Now if you want someone to mock Democratic candidates for office, taut the party line, give you the latest press releases from Republicans, or sell you campaign materials, PP is your man.

  37. well done cory, and everyone here. we knew from the smoke there was fire and our harping has produced results. jw is probably right and rounds, daugaard and jackley have egg on their faces but not enough. the silliness of mucky mucks honoring one another, electing one another in the face of fraud, murders, suicides, torching and politically covering up evidence, by the likes of next governors, senator’s sons, big lawyers and powerful boards used to line pockets, is Shakespearean. bastards.

  38. mike from iowa

    Matters like this require thousands of hours to begin to get an understanding that is more than speculation

    Troy, it gets real simple, real fast, Tell your corrupted cronys not to engage in komplicated kriminal- type kover ups so us idiots can follow the criminal activities easier. :)

  39. Troy,
    I had to chuckle at the ‘nuts and bolts of politics’ terminology to describe DWC. You need to admit DWC is partisan right wing and advocates for the GOP. Come on, Troy, you rascal! You’re not fooling anyone.
    Cory admits he’s the liberal voice of SD. That’s what makes America isn’t it – a place for all voices.

  40. I find the fact that Jackley is traveling all the way to Aberdeen to attend this hearing similar to what happened over the gay marriage lawsuit. Jackley was there, but just sat in a chair. Someone else from his office was the person who argued the case. I wonder if he will be front and center or will someone else have to do his work for him?

  41. Cory, I used the Wrongword. I meant hosts of the blog and not sponsor. I had no intention to infer who buys your ads or gives you tips.

    Darin and Jenny, I didn’t intend to imply Pat doesn’t have a bias or perspective. Only that he is more focused on matters that have impact on the political environment more directly. To point, so far, there nothing but speculation this matter goes beyond Bollen and Benda and so far there is no evidence it has had any discernible political impact. Thus, Pat doesn’t find it any more interesting than the speculation about what has occurred on the Lower Brule reservation.

  42. Pat only speculates publicly on what his masters direct him to speculate about publicly. Cory is his own master.

  43. Note, Nancy, that Jackley was here last night for the GOP dinner. I didn’t know that yesterday when I reported. His presence at the event makes his presence at this morning’s hearing a little less remarkable… but still, for an initial appearance, in which the state said and did nothing publicly but assent to the preliminary hearing date, it seems an unusual bit of theater.

  44. There is a reason for everything.

    There is a reason that Bollen was not fired from state government in 2009 when it was discovered that he had concealed the existence of a lawsuit against the state and had acted as a lawyer by drafting and filing pleadings in that lawsuit.

    In 2008, Bollen – who had no contract signing authority on behalf of the state – signed a contract for the state with his own private company SDRC, Inc. and continued working for the state till December 2009 while funneling business to his private company. There is a reason Bollen wasn’t fired for this.

    We don’t have to speculate that any of this happened. It’s a fact. Until Rounds and Jackley tell us why they didn’t do anything about it – ever – then it’s fair game to speculate on the reason they gave this faithless servant a pass.

    And why did it take over 3 years to take action against the Joopster for misappropriating this money? Was nobody in the GOP administration paying attention?

  45. Thank you for that clarification on word choice, Troy.

    Troy, is not the Attorney General’s participation in this prosecution a matter of political interest, given the AG’s aspirations to the Governor’s chair in the midst of a variety of corruption scandals in state government? Should not a political blog, even one with the narrow focus you ascribe to DWC, be interested?

  46. mike from iowa

    That is really “white” of Powers to focus only on wingnuts and wingnut issues in a completely red wingnut state where wingnuts control every aspect of governance and have re-written some rules to maintain their wingnut state’s wingnuttiness.

  47. Darin Larson

    Troy, you said: “I didn’t intend to imply Pat doesn’t have a bias or perspective. Only that he is more focused on matters that have impact on the political environment more directly. To point, so far, there nothing but speculation this matter goes beyond Bollen and Benda and so far there is no evidence it has had any discernible political impact. Thus, Pat doesn’t find it any more interesting than the speculation about what has occurred on the Lower Brule reservation.”

    You seriously mean to tell us that Bollen and Benda’s alleged criminal activity has less “discernible political impact” than whether Lora Hubbel is seeking a legislative seat or whether Ann Tornberg is an actual candidate or a placeholder in a no-name legislative race or whether some oft ran Democratic candidates have a chance of winning or if they will stay in the race until the end. These are things that PP talks about and they must have “discernible political impact” in your mind? But corruption of the highest order in the state executive branch has no discernible political impact?

    Are you saying that all the corruption scandals in SD are not going to have any political impact? Maybe, you are right. Trump says he could shoot somebody and his supporters would not care. Maybe, its the same in SD.

    And the fact that PP doesn’t find it interesting that there is major corruption at the top of state government tells you more about him than anything else. He is either a dullard for not caring about corruption, which is debatable, or more likely, he is not going to criticize the people that feed him. He is so partisan that Rounds would have to be convicted of murder before PP is going to be critical of the way state government has been run.

  48. Darin, you capture the real difference. PP reports baseball and soap operas. I’m producing Meet the Press and Charlie Rose… or maybe on a good day, John Oliver.

  49. Home Run Darin.

  50. Darin,

    I reject the premise this is a conspiracy beyond the Benda and Bollen. If I am correct, it will have as much impact politically as it had last election. Did you notice the results of the Rounds- Weiland race?

  51. Darin Larson

    Troy, so you knew about Bollen’s alleged crimes during the Rounds Weiland race and knew he would be charged? That’s interesting since the attorney general just found out about the criminal activity a little over three months ago. But you also know that rounds/daugaard is blameless in all this?

    Move along folks nothing to see here. Let’s get back to talking about serious matters. It’s all the dead guys fault. I mean it’s all Boolen’s fault. I mean it certainly does not go any higher. That is for sure.

  52. It is good to hear that Ms. Tornberg is in a no-name legislative race. But I think you fellows have it all wrong that Mr. PP is paid by some masters hiding in the shadows. If he was paid by shadowy masters then he would be blogging different and meaningful things. I submit he is trying to make it look like he is paid by shadowy masters in order to make you fear and loathe him and perhaps to entice those shadowy masters into thinking that maybe they should put him on the payrolls.

  53. Troy, while I will concede that no formal charges have demonstrated conspiracy beyond Benda and Bollen or for that matter any collaboration of Benda in the charges Bollen is facing, I have to support Darin’s point that EB-5 can make a bigger difference politically now than it did in 2014. As A.G. Jackley himself said yesterday, additional information has been revealed in these charges. Benda is no longer the sole fall guy. Also, don’t forget the the feds came in last fall and affirmed that, yes, the corruption was so bad that South Dakota couldn’t be trusted to run EB-5. That creates a different playing field and more fertile ground for public doubt and voter action on those doubts than we had in 2014, when, alas, the Rounds machine was successful in misportraying accusations of wrongdoing in EB-5 as mere political mudslinging.

  54. Darin Larson

    Grudz- You twisted my words. Please note that I believe that Ann is a serious candidate and a good one at that. The alternative narrative was espoused by PP that she is a placeholder for another candidate. That candidate would be the no-name candidate if it were true.

  55. (By the way, Troy, on editorial choices and motivations, what discernible political impact does Pat offer and analyze in his only Saturday story so far, the verbatim press release about Autism Awareness Month?)

  56. mike from iowa

    Troy, if there is nothing to hide, why not release every piece of paper and records and tell your friends to testify under oath? The Sinate can spare Rounds for a year or two, he doesn’t appear to have done much.

    Get everything into the open so the people can see there is no there there.

  57. Darin,

    During the last election, DFP wrote (and still writes) a significant % of its posts about this matter. In fact, I once made the comment DFP’s predecessor had become like the Home Shopping Network but instead of selling baubles it was selling EB-5 24/7.

    Every conceivable conspiracy was advanced either in the post or comments without regard to either evidence or reason. And, in the end, it had no impact on the election despite the knowledge Benda was about to be charged before he killed himself. I believe most voters presumed there could ultimately be charges against Bollen. The reality he has now been charged and I doubt many consider it news.

    Regarding the rest of your comment, your inference is blatantly false. I’ve not once expressed an opinion that the feds and AG should not do their jobs, investigate where the evidence takes them, and file charges based on the evidence. Further, I was supportive of them being diligent and thorough which is why I expressed the view (at least dozens of times and could have hundreds more times) the expectation this would be resolved like a Law and Order episode was unrealistic, noting financial meltdown investigations still continue.

  58. Darin Larson

    Troy, now you have gone too far when you say “I believe most voters presumed there could ultimately be charges against Bollen. The reality he has now been charged and I doubt many consider it news.”

    Larry Tidemann and the audit committee of the legislature along with the executive branch of our state did not even think they needed to delve into Bollen’s conduct. If the legislature and executive branch were not pursuing Bollen for corruption, how can you say that “most voters” thought there would ultimately be charges against Bollen? Are you saying Republicans were actively trying to cover this up or that they are stupid? If everybody knew it, then those are the only two options!

  59. Darin Larson

    Troy, Furthermore, your comment that many won’t consider this news is a sad commentary on Republican corruption in South Dakota. Why isn’t this news when state funds are being stolen? It happens so often people are numb to it? State government is a political plumb to be plucked by those in power?

    If Hillary Clinton had been the governor instead of Rounds under the same circumstances, it would have been news alright. Oh the hearings we would have had. The exhaustive investigations. The publicity. Where is the moral indignation and righteous outrage?

  60. Darin,

    It is the job of the US Department of Justice and South Dakota Attorney General to pursue criminal matters. As we know the SDAG is obviously pursuing violation of state law and I presume the feds are if they have found evidence justifying further investigation.

    In case you missed that day in 9th grade civics, the SD Governor and Legislature have no authority to pursue citizens for criminal matters.

    It is obvious you want Rounds, et. al. to be thrown in the clink as it serves your political purposes. Otherwise, if you just wanted justice, you’d be patient to allow the process to work. Its actually quite similar to those who want Hillary thrown in the clink before the investigation is complete. Again, trial by public opinion, speculation and jail for political opponents is common in some countries but we learned in 9th grade civics that isn’t how it works in the US.

  61. bret clanton

    Darin, your post at 1537 pretty much sums it up and needs no defense…..

  62. Darin Larson

    Troy, what I’m saying, in case you missed civics class as well, is that the legislative and executive branches have basically refused to do their oversight functions to meet any normal definition of oversight. “Hey Joop, did you do anything wrong here?” “Nope, Ok, you don’t need to come testify or answer question under oath.” “Thanks Joop for being so honest with us.”

    Had the legislative and executive branches completed rudimentary oversight responsibilities we would not have had to wait 4 years for a criminal complaint against Bollen.

  63. The fact that Rounds is so laid back about this happening on his watch is despicable. Like if something of this magnitude had happened on Gov Dayton’s watch and he acted like it was nothing, my respect for him would go down. I would be ready for a different governor.
    Obviously with Troy, it doesn’t bother him with what happened. Troy’s absolutely correct, EB-5 didn’t affect the election at all and Rounds won by a huge margin. I agree with Darin, this is just sad that the ‘pubs won’t say one negative word about Rounds. South Dakotans are just kind of stupid the way they get played.
    I’m ready for the Stace Nelson-Cory Heidelberger bill next Session.
    Go Stace and Cory! We need you guys!

  64. I meant the Nelson-Heidelberger anticorruption bill.

  65. Jenny,

    I am greatly bothered about it and am looking forward to knowing its final disposition wherever it leads. Until I know, I am not going to speculate on its impact.

  66. Jenny, I can’t wait to find such a hyphenatable bill with my esteemed colleague from Hanson County. Put Stace Nelson and me in the same chamber, and you might get better government. You’ll definitely get better ratings for SDPB’s Statehouse.

  67. troy u r so pitifully partisan your words are not worth reading:

    “I once made the comment DFP’s predecessor had become like the Home Shopping Network but instead of selling baubles it was selling EB-5 24/7. [when was that, troy? there was an election coming up. susan wismer was on GOAC and believed she was politically compromised.]

    Every conceivable conspiracy was advanced either in the post or comments without regard to either evidence or reason. [this isn’t even close to the truth. we bantered the evidence available, back and forth considering the realites.]

    And, in the end, it had no impact on the election despite the knowledge Benda was about to be charged before he killed himself.
    [SDGOP MANIPULATED AND COVERED UP THE EVIDENCE SO ROUNDS COULD WIN]

    I believe most voters presumed there could ultimately be charges against Bollen. The reality he has now been charged and I doubt many consider it news.” [there is little intelligent response that could be made to you, troy. u are not grounded in any sense of reasonableness though you cloak yourself in that professed coat.]

    you stole an election, much like bush likely stole his election. we did get a 9th grade civics lesson there about the power and wealth and ruthlessness of the republican party. that and the Iraq war. I could never align myself with such an illiterate, dishonest political party.

    SD apparently took it as permission to pull all the stops. Benda dead, joop likely a crook, many, many others covered it up. Johnson dropped the ball. Jackley has never carried the ball in his life. Westerhuis and his entire family died, evidence was burned and auditing is lackluster, as usual. This state is paying big for your apologies. what’s next?