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March Deposition Shows Long-Standing GOP Support for Joop Bollen

EB-5 and Joop Bollen pop up in another election year! Reminding us that South Dakota’s “green cards for sale” scandal is still mired in litigation, Seth Tupper reports on a deposition from Aberdeen’s EB-5 kingpin, taken March 20 but just published by the federal court in which Bollen and deadbeat investors in the Deadwood Mountain Grand casino/hotel are suing the pants off each other, which offers some details on how much Bill Janklow supported Bollen’s money-making scheme:

Sometime during the 1990s, according to Bollen, he went to the state capital city of Pierre with John Hutchinson, who was NSU’s president from 1993 to 1997, and Clyde Arnold, who was the dean of NSU’s business school, where they met with then-Gov. Janklow at his request and discussed Bollen’s ideas to boost manufacturing exports.

During deposition questioning by attorney Kasey Olivier, of Heidepriem, Purtell, Siegel & Olivier in Sioux Falls, Bollen described Janklow’s reaction.

Bollen: “He liked it. He liked my plans, I think. So he sent me an email if I had an interest to come to Pierre. But I told him, no, I didn’t want to go to Pierre.”

Olivier: “To go live in Pierre?”

Bollen: “To work. Yeah” [Seth Tupper, “Bollen Says in Newly Public EB-5 Deposition That Janklow Wanted Him in Pierre,” Rapid City Journal, 2018.10.11].

Bollen has stated before that South Dakota’s Executive Branch was fully invested in his EB-5 efforts. Other documents and Mike Rounds’s own statements to the press in 2014 confirmed the state’s keen support for Bollen’s project.

The March 20 Bollen deposition doesn’t appear to drop any October surprises into this year’s election… although the lead attorney deposing Bollen, Kasey Olivier of Sioux Falls, is running for District 12 Senate, so I hope all her hard work on this EB-5 case isn’t keeping her from knocking on doors and asking for votes in Sioux Falls! Her clients would probably prefer that she not discuss pending litigation on the campaign trail, but the knowledge she’s gaining from this litigation likely makes her more informed about and more motivated to tackle crony corruption in state government than her incumbent District 12 opponent, Senator R. Blake Curd, who sat gutlessly on the Government Operations and Audit Committee in 2014, did nothing in response to Bollen’s arrogant dismissal of their authority, and complied with the powers that be in blaming all the shady EB-5 business on the dead guy, Richard Benda.


  1. Jason 2018-10-12 07:32

    I haven’t this very close.

    Which Republican Politicians broke the law?

  2. Jason 2018-10-12 07:33

    Should say “I haven’t followed this case very close”.

  3. jerry 2018-10-12 09:18

    Most of them it would seem. That is why NOem cannot be governor. NOem was Assistant Majority Leader during this time, so she was in a position to know what was going on and who was doing it. The whole cart was so full of bad apples, it is hard to distinguish what one was the most rotten. Start with Janklow and then drill down, according to Joop. You start to hit paydirt with Rounds and Daugaard and down the slippery slope of corruption we go. NOem was there in the legislature at the time as a power player. How could she not know the dirty deals as everyone else was fingered by Joop.

    Clear the track for new governor Billie Sutton and new Democratic senators like Cory and the rest that are advertised on this site. Billie will need help with the lift to reach across the aisles and do something to make proud.

  4. Donald Pay 2018-10-12 09:52

    The problem is not that Bollen and others had ideas to boost manufacturing exports. That’s what we expect of good entrepreneurs. The problems arise when they want a government handout to do it, or easy permitting and lax regulation. What you get is a race to the bottom, Superfund sites, bankrupt companies that stiff local businesses and scandal after scandal.

    Too many Governors want to socialize everything, thinking they’ll get some of the glory. Janklow’s fatal flaw was that he thought he had to be involved in every goddam thing that happened, and he had a gift for effing things up. If there was a tornado or a fire, he was racing at 100 mph, endangering everyone on the road, to get some of the reflected glory of directing traffic. Come on. Put your ego away, and do the job you were elected to. If you are a wannabe corporate executive or traffic cop, quit the Governorship and go to work elsewhere. Every governor after Janklow tried to copy that approach to a lesser, and less egoistic extent. Why?

    I get that some people like that socialist approach, with an egoistic tyrant for a leader. Then they don’t have to think for themselves. They just follow the leader. You would be surprised how many business “leaders” are not leaders at all, but gubernatorial butt-kissers. If they can’t squeeze thousands of taxpayer dollars or a gimme permit out of a governor, they feel they aren’t doing their job. And, of course, some of those taxpayer dollars recirculate into the coffers of the corrupt and corrupting politicians.

    I never understood the need of the well-off to suck at the government teat. Can someone explain that?

  5. jerry 2018-10-12 10:28

    Greed, Mr. Pay, pure greed is the catalyst to corruption. The well-off only see government as another piggy bank instrument to get more power and ego.

    I think you’re correct in that we want our elected officials to do everything they can to bring economic growth. We also don’t want them to be corrupted by it. This is what happened. You cannot have this big of a grand scale of corruption without the knowledge of the hierarchy around where the decisions are made. Bollen implicates them all. We cannot allow NOem to continue the same lawless cabal in Pierre that she was a part of, according to the Joop timelines.

  6. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2018-10-12 12:16

    We have great Democratic candidates in District 12. Kasey, Jeff, and Scott are all running smart campaigns. I can’t help to notice too, that the Republicans are nervous in 12. Curd is already doing signage and sending out letters to Republicans at a much earlier pace than in the past. Beal And Steel are out campaigning in a Smart car (Yes, a smart car) that has a wrap on it, too, which is half Beal and half Steel for State House in its signage…. This is kind of mean, but Manny Steel was recently campaigning in my neighborhood and he got out of this half car like one of those characters, who drives a tiny car around a circus ring…. So I guess you could say that the Democrats are running smart campaigns and Republicans are trying to keep up with a half car, that they think is smart merely because of its name.

    Oh, and when Manny was in my neighborhood, he completely ignored my home like those kids who ignore that one house in the neighborhood on Halloween night; but no fear Manny, no fear, I mean no harm, unless a honest discussion of the issues of the day are too much for your palete…

  7. leslie 2018-10-12 13:30

    In a Sutton/Seiler Democratically administered South Dakota, their values of truth, honesty and anti-cronyism will stand up against a crony Republican GOED caught with hands in the EB5 greencard “cookie jar”. The investigation will not be limited as Republican chair Tidemann’s GOAC did, by its obstruction of evidence and oversight, permitting Rounds’s senate election. Ann Beal suggests it was Billie’s fault. Absurd!

    Rounds, like Kavanaugh avoided cross examination with written questions. Rounds recently came to Kavanaugh’s defense enabling avoidance of FBI felony perjury. That’s what unethical cronies do.

    Jackley and Duagaard won their own elections too without accountability, tip toeing around the EB5 mess as also permitted by Republican GOAC. Republican Regent cronies and NSU loss of records, office space and lack of oversight resulting in “hiding the ball” of evidence–will not ethically be permitted in a Sutton/Seiler Democratic team.

    A scapegoat, Benda, Rounds’s cabinet member committed suicide knowing Jackley found him to take the fall. Daugaard, Jackley, and Rounds got free passes to represent their own interests rather than transparently protecting the residents of SD from crony fraud and loss of life. A multi-hundred million dollar beef plant was squandered and the subsequent Fed EB5 investigation severely penalized SD’s fraudulent administration of EB5 with its world-wide reach into China, Russia and international tax haven scams.

    Same Republican playbook against GearUp’s Huber and Phelps because Rounds/Daugard’s SD DOE failed to oversee crony fraud resulting in multiple tragic deaths, loss of property, records and evidence in Burke.

    We still do not know how much money was lost in the $600,000,000 churning greencard fraud of EB5. Joop privitized state economic development, stole state records and pretended he was a lawyer for the state in Fed Ct while AG, NSU and Regents lawyers looked on.

    The Republicans still have not explained how the crony GearUp tragedy should have been averted by Daugaard and Rounds governorships.

    Instead crony SD GOP gutted the popular vote for reform: IM 22.

  8. David Newquist 2018-10-12 16:43

    This deposition from Bollen gets us a step closer to understanding the relationships within the SD GOP and how they functioned in the EB-5 and Gear Up scandals. For Gear Up, Marshall Damgaard created a map of relationships on which Anna Madsen based her honors thesis which traced and examined the relationships of the perpetrators. With this deposition, a mapping of the relationships for the EB-5 scandal emerges with the naming of Bill Janklow and NSU presidents John Hutchinson and John Hilpert. It should be stressed that there was a series of presidents from 1982 through 2009 who were not academic leaders but acted as agents of the Regents. Almost all of their executive actions were instigated by the Regents, who were appointees and agents of the governor. Still today, there is but one token regent serving on the Board of Regents whose background primarily dealt with educational matters. A signal event which is recorded in a number of accounts was when Janklow had control of funds from credit card banks about which he refused to inform the amounts and the locations to state treasurer Dick Butler. When Butler triggered an investigation, Janklow devised a gag law pushed through the legislature by hench man Mike Rounds which made it a crime to reveal to the public any investigation involving the state and private corporations. His involvement with the banks has still not been fully revealed. Bollen’s deposition does not deal with these networks of relationships, which are the operative elements of the conspiracy. However, there is enough information to carry the conspiracy beyond theory into facts of who the participants were and what roles they played, as Ms. Madsen explained with Gear Up.

  9. leslie 2018-10-13 02:14

    Thank you for this intriguing info and names. Wow. Fascinating.

    Think Randy Seiler would stand around like hand-wringing Jackley if Billie pulled such unethical stunts? I don’t think so. Democrats nationwide are the party of ethical public representation.

    Boy Cory, between you, Ms. Madsen, & Mr. Damgaard, it seems there is a book here to be written! “The Felonious Immigrant: In the Disintegration of the Prairie GOP”. -Chapter One-
    “Light snow. A shelter belt. A body on the ground. A state cabinet member the Repubican Lt. Governor side-stepped hiring, after the election.
    A shotgun nearby….
    -Last Chapter-
    “1 AM. A new white GMC pickup is caught on a service station security camera heading east through the intersection on Main…. The lowboy trailer has a load tarped down. Are those file cabinets? The lone driver has no idea of the magnitude of the crime occurring just then, not far from the river breaks outside the small, mostly sleeping town. Another shotgun….”

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