Todd Epp points us toward the FBI’s freshly released documents on Richard Benda and South Dakota’s EB-5 scandal. Epp says the documents don’t tell us much new, and they white out a lot of the good stuff, like who approached the FBI in April and May 2014 with suspicions about Benda’s shelterbelt shotgun death.
Epp scrolls through the many blank pages to find one interesting bit of testimony: Norg Sanderson, an Aberdeen-area scientist and businessman who was involved in the EB-5-financed Northern Beef Packers boondoggle before Joop Bollen and the EB-5 investors took over, insisted to the FBI and he U.S. Attorney’s office that the Governor’s Office’s push for Northern Beef Packers was “all political” and had “nothing to do with money….” Sure, Norg.
The FBI papers don’t tell us what the Minneapolis office was looking into in May 2012 or what victim they recommended not notifying:
The FBI papers give similar non-information about what a white male voluntarily told them during an interview at his residence on April 26, 2012. They don’t tell us who they wanted to travel to Indianapolis to interview in September 2012. They don’t tell us what white male(s) got calls at work from the FBI in January and February 2013 and at his own office in March 2013. The papers do mention fully recorded interviews in June, July, and August 2013, but who knows where those tapes/discs/mp4 files may be. And the papers say nothing about what the FBI learned pertinent to Benda’s case, if anything, in Hong Kong in 2015.
Page 65 in the pile indicates the FBI was interviewed someone relevant to Richard Benda’s “Sensitive Investigative Matter” in Minneapolis on November 3, 2011, almost two years before Benda turned up dead in his brother-in-law’s shelterbelt.
But there’s nothing in these mostly empty papers to shed light on who knew what and when in one of the two great Rounds Administration scandals that exploded during the Daugaard Administration.