Attorney General Marty Jackley secured EB-5 czar Joop Bollen’s plea bargain last month; now the Governor’s office announces another bit of its GOED/EB-5 scandal swept under the rug. The state has settled its two lawsuits with Bollen’s SDRC Inc., the corporation which the Governor’s Office of Economic Development contracted to privatize Bollen’s job running the EB-5 visa investment program for South Dakota:
“Since 2013, the State of South Dakota has worked diligently to resolve the problems stemming from the federal EB-5 program in South Dakota,” said Tony Venhuizen, the Governor’s chief of staff. “Today’s settlement and the recovery of $1.5 million from SDRC, Inc. not only compensates the state for past EB-5 related expenses, but also ensures the state has the funds it would otherwise have had under the contract with SDRC, Inc. to guard against any future claims.”
Under the terms of the settlement, SDRC will immediately pay $546,250 into an existing state-controlled indemnification account, with an additional $81,250 payment by Sept. 1, 2019. Since commencing its civil actions, the state separately recovered an additional $894,633.32 in indemnification funds owed to the state by SDRC, Inc. [Office of Governor Dennis Daugaard, press release, 2017.03.14]
The $546,250 appears to be payback for the legal costs the state incurred in the Darley case, in which a California business sued the state over monkeyshines in the South Dakota EB-5 program. The settlement appears to include no damages or penalties, only fulfillment of obligations created by the state’s contract with Bollen’s SDRC Inc.
The only legal case remaining in play on South Dakota’s EB-5 scandal is the LP6 Claimants case, in which Chinese EB-5 investors are suing the state and Bollen for blowing smoke on the value of the Northern Beef Packers EB-5 project in Aberdeen.