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State Asks Court to Block Bollen from Taking EB-5 Money and Running

Suppose you owned a million-dollar asset, like a big gun and grenade collection, or eight Tesla Model Xs. Suppose you had a buddy keep that million-dollar asset in his shed for you. But then you and your buddy fell out. You asked for your asset back, but he moved it to his storm shelter and refused to give you a key. What would you do?

Better yet, if you were the State of South Dakota, what would you do?

If your answer is, get a warrant, send a dozen DCI agents to the property, and get the state’s stuff back, then you could be South Dakota’s next Governor.

But if you’re Attorney General Marty Jackley, your answer is, ask the court to tell your buddy not to take your stuff to the pawn shop.

In a motion for preliminary injunction filed December 4, 2015, in its lawsuit against former EB-5 czar Joop Bollen’s corporate entity SDRC Inc., the state alleges that Bollen transferred a one-million-dollar indemnification fund to which the state is supposed to have access to a separate savings account without the state’s knowledge or permission. According to a bank statement submitted by the state in its motion, Bollen transferred one million dollars to a new account on February 26, 2015:

Great Western Bank statement, SDRC Inc commercial savings account, 2015.03.31; presented as Exhibit C in state's motion for preliminary injunction, State of South Dakota v. SDRC Inc., 32CIV15-000270, 2015.12.04
Great Western Bank statement, SDRC Inc commercial savings account, 2015.03.31; presented as Exhibit C in state’s motion for preliminary injunction, State of South Dakota v. SDRC Inc., 32CIV15-000270, 2015.12.04
Great Western Bank statement, SDRC Inc commercial savings account, 2015.11.17; presented as Exhibit C in state's motion for preliminary injunction, State of South Dakota v. SDRC Inc., 32CIV15-000270, 2015.12.04.
Great Western Bank statement, SDRC Inc commercial savings account, 2015.11.17; presented as Exhibit C in state’s motion for preliminary injunction, State of South Dakota v. SDRC Inc., 32CIV15-000270, 2015.12.04.

As of November 17, that account was worth $1,001,743.09.

The state asks the court to order Bollen to transfer that million-plus to the court for safe-keeping. “Absent a preliminary injunction,” argues the state in its motion, “Defendant, at its whim, may remove all the money required under the consulting contract for Indemnification Fund Two from the account in which it is currently being held. Such action would rob the State of a significant source of indemnification bargained for under the contract.”

I’m just thrilled to hear the state use the word “rob” to describe what Bollen could do with all that squirreled-away EB-5 money. Now if the state would just join me in using the word “rob” to describe what Bollen has already done, we’d be making real progress.

As Seth Tupper reports, Bollen is apparently making nice with the state on other fronts. In its rebuttal to Bollen’s change-of-venue request, the state grants that Bollen/SDRC Inc. has addressed a number of the complaints raised in the state’s lawsuit against SDRC Inc., cleaning up its lingering website to remove suggestions of state authority and replenishing Indemnification Fund One with $381,068.48 several days after the state filed suit in October.

But Joop is still sitting on over one million dollars that belong to you and me. I guess even Joop deserves due process, but let’s hope the court acts quickly to freeze Bollen’s assets before South Dakota loses even more to EB-5 corruption.


  1. 96Tears 2015-12-12 11:32

    This is the slowest moving bank robbery in the world. You can do what you want in South Dakota as long as you’re a member of the Protected Class. When Marty Jackley shaves his face in the morning, does he avoid looking in the mirror?

  2. Loren 2015-12-12 12:22

    “This is the slowest moving bank robbery in the world.” LOL! And it is like a slow motion robbery where the SD “cops” watch, but have no idea which way to turn. Quite the spectacle! :-)

  3. Rorschach 2015-12-12 12:27

    I’ll call it theft. He took over $1.3 million out of indemnification funds, and has not been charged with theft?! Unbelievable!!! Giving him a pass on this means they really, really don’t want him to spill the beans on Rounds – and on them for their coverup.

    22-30A-10. Embezzlement of property received in trust. Any person, who has been entrusted with the property of another and who, with intent to defraud, appropriates such property to a use or purpose not in the due and lawful execution of his or her trust, is guilty of theft. A distinct act of taking is not necessary to constitute theft pursuant to this section.

    22-30A-10.1. Return of stolen property considered in mitigation of punishment–Return not a defense. If any person, who has been accused of theft, restores or returns the property allegedly stolen before an indictment or information is laid before a magistrate, such fact may be considered in mitigation of punishment. The restoration or return of the property is not a defense nor may it be considered by the finder of fact.

    22-30A-17.1. Aggravated grand theft–Felony. Theft is aggravated grand theft, if the value of the property stolen exceeds five hundred thousand dollars. Aggravated grand theft is a Class 2 felony.

  4. mike from iowa 2015-12-12 12:42

    Bollen will prolly be allowed to plea to the least serious charge and walk on the condition he does not spill the beans on the rest of the crooks.

  5. Rorschach 2015-12-12 12:47

    Bollen should be charged in federal court since the state cannot be trusted to enforce the law, and since the state is the “victim” of this massive theft.

  6. larry kurtz 2015-12-12 12:57

    Bollen didn’t violate federal law or he would have been charged by USA Brendan Johnson a year ago.

  7. 96Tears 2015-12-12 12:58

    If I were one of Richard Benda’s survivors I’d be making a lot of noise about the selective nature of Marty Jackley’s sense of public responsibility. I’d wonder why Mr. Benda got told he’d be the subject of three felony charges and a grand jury investigation while Mike Rounds’ racketeers are moving around money and running about free as birds.

    How many people are sitting in state prison and county jails for stealing a lot less than $1 million? Or for doing a hell of a lot less than theft?

  8. John 2015-12-12 13:18

    It’s a theft. Roschatch is correct with the theft forms. To “rob” is to use force or the threat of force or the threat of imminent bodily harm in a taking – so it’s theft. One would expect more from the protection pack in the AG’s office. And, yes, the civil case should be in federal court.

    To Mike’s point – perhaps they are after Bollen ‘cuz they didn’t git their cut . . . or pledge silence . . . or he refused to go pheasant huntin’ . . . .

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-12 13:42

    Ror, your statutory citations make me think there’s an even stronger case for Marty to show up at Joop’s door right now and slap the cuffs on him. This is far bigger than taking five boxes of state documents off the NSU campus. This is one million dollars, moved to an unapproved private account. Given the statute’s cited and the circumstances, would the state have the authority to walk into Great Western Bank and demand surrender of the money without a court order?

  10. larry kurtz 2015-12-12 13:46

    Lol. You guys get right on that.

  11. larry kurtz 2015-12-12 13:47

    “But Joop is still sitting on over one million dollars that belong to you and me.” Source?

  12. Rorschach 2015-12-12 15:53

    Not without a court order, Cory. A warrant is a court order.

  13. mikeyc, that's me! 2015-12-12 16:58

    Great Western Bank is owned by an Australian Holding Company. Joop living it up on the Gold Coast?

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-12 17:06

    So Ror, how much harder would it be to secure that warrant than this injunction? What’s the substantive difference between the two?

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-12 17:11

    Mikeyc, any chance you can connect the dots from Great Western Bank to National Australia Bank to Anvil Asia Partners of Hong Kong?

  16. Rorschach 2015-12-12 17:19

    It’s easier to get a warrant. There’s no hearing or notice requirement. Just present to the judge an affidavit showing probable cause that stolen property is being held at the bank.

  17. leslie 2015-12-12 17:53

    there is no protection for whistle blowers in SD, really.

    not sure joop holds the cards as state’s witness; rounds and daugaard just don’t want to muddy the water. as cathy said, they didn’t care about joop then, and don’t now. it was privatized.

    the lawyers and accountants are the only ones that CAN sort the fraud out and when you own them, you get nice positive audits and the cover-up continues….more later.

    this is ridiculous trying to stay abreast of the state’s legal machinations on a fricking blog…! w/o cory, however, we’d be up the creek more so than pre-benda.

  18. Francis Schaffer 2015-12-12 18:14

    Why haven’t ‘they’ pulled his passport? Or did I miss that step.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-12 20:45

    Interesting then, Ror, that AG Jackley has not taken the warrant route yet. How can the AG and the Governor let that possible theft hang out there without a firm response?

    Francis, I haven’t heard anything about pulling a passport. I assume they couldn’t do that unless they actually arrested him. But if we’re talking money, Joop Bollen has his hands on more of the state’s wealth than Annette Bosworth ever did. Drop the hammer, Marty.

  20. Rorschach 2015-12-13 14:28

    Let’s not forget, as John Tsitrian reminds us, that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Rounds allowed the Joopster, a state employee, to make off with the entire EB-5 fee revenue stream. This was perhaps $120 million give or take a few million. Surely the Joopster didn’t make off with all of that money without some of it finding its way to his benefactors.

    Rounds needs an honorary title befitting the person who allowed the taxpayers to be fleeced so badly by one of his employees. The title governor of south dakota doesn’t quite capture the spirit of Rounds’s misdeeds. I dub thievery enabler Rounds the mayor of crooks. Now we just need to figure out how much made it into the mayor’s own pockets and those of his family.

  21. Ron Wieczorek 2015-12-14 00:38

    It’s time to quit playing politics and get serious about saving our national economy, with so-called “junk debt” markets plunging and experts warning of a “riot in the Wall Street casino” this week if the Federal Reserve raises rates, the sudden “junk debt collapse” is only a harbinger of a Wall Street collapse worse than 2008 with worse impacts on human livelihoods on a global scale. Also there is 5 trillion dollar oil industry debt bubble collapsing. If both Parties had fought harder and reinstated the Glass-Steagall Act of Peter Norbeck[Republican] and FDR we would not be in this very dangerous crisis. It’s time for the best of both Parties to work together to prevent a major collapse. We cannot allow it to continue, you have worthless accounts, of so-called debt “assets” which are in collapse, and they’re being used to kill people’s income, their
    employment, potentially their food supply and it is Barack Obama who has blocked restoration of Glass-Steagall Act, which is the key to bankrupting Wall Street and allowing productive credit to take effect on the economy. Get Obama out and dump the Donald Trump — . Good people in both political parties can agree, to move the responsible authorities in Congress to get these objectives done.

  22. mike from iowa 2015-12-14 08:29

    Anvil Asia Partners appears to have fallen off the Earth. Can’t find any trace of them after the Epoch Star debacle. There is an Anvil Partners group based in London that does vulture capitalism. From Wiki it appears that NAB owns Great Western Bank. No sign of when the merger took place,but GWB was owned by J P Morgan for awhile.

  23. leslie 2015-12-15 03:03

    Weather Forecast
    Grand Cayman

    Partly Cloudy
    Today is forecast to be nearly the same temperature as yesterday. Morning showers.

    Tuesday 12/15 50%
    High 84° / Low 78°
    Chance of Rain
    Rain showers early with some sunshine later in the day. High 84F. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

    ahhhh…. sighs Director Wai of AAP Hong Kong. The banking commission transcript and evidence submitted at the hearing may give further details and Montgomery’s detailed article cited previously here today on separate thread may give further leads, and Rory King, Esq., Aberdeen was a source. whether any NEW info is there is for a sleuth to determine. :)

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