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Let’s All Incorporate!

Hultgren Construction LLC broke the law and caused a worker to die. If you and I do that, South Dakota will put us in prison for years or maybe even kill us. But if a corporation does that, South Dakota leaves it to a federal court to make the corporation pay $50 and serve a year’s probation while its insurers pay restitution to the people it harmed. And its owner, Aaron Hultgren, doesn’t even have to show his face in court to face that minimal music. He just declares bankruptcy and walks away.

I yield the floor to Mr. Ehrisman for an apt comparison:

Only in SD we would find it appropriate to charge people with a crime for ingestion, think industrial hemp is recreational pot, but if someone collapses a building do to negligence and kills a person, they walk away with NO jail and a $50 fine [Scott Ehrisman, “It’s Hard to Charge a Bankrupt LLC with a Crime in South Dakota,” South Dacola, 2019.12.16].

Maybe we all need to incorporate ourselves. That would keep the government off our backs.


  1. mike from iowa 2019-12-17

    $50 fine, huh? Federal judges, even bankruptcy judges, get paid more than fifty bucks a day.

  2. Robert McTaggart 2019-12-17

    Speaking of corporations, several have been sued today regarding their use of Cobalt in battery technology that is mined with child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    “The complaint accuses the tech giants of “knowingly benefiting from and aiding and abetting the cruel and brutal use of young children in Democratic Republic of Congo (‘DRC’) to mine cobalt.” “

  3. Realist 2019-12-17

    I’m inclined to think this was a pre-determined result. Given the recent setllement, I think that a package plea deal was accepted by Hultgren in exchange for this sentence. Meaning that in exchange to paying the restitution amount to the families, the court punishment would be lessened. I think a FOIA request into the public records, emails between attorneys and the judge, etc. would be pertinent here.

  4. Debbo 2019-12-17

    That’s sickening. In many other nations, when a corporation of any size commits a criminal act, the CEO goes to jail. If we did that Jamie Dimon and his big bank pals would be serving time, as would so many others. Or —

    they’d be much more law abiding.

  5. mike from iowa 2019-12-17

    Vote D for Democrat and see the amazing difference a D makes when comparing “law a buying” with “law abiding”.

  6. Robert McTaggart 2019-12-17

    Mike and Debbo…

    Do you mean law a-Biden ;^) ?

  7. mike from iowa 2019-12-17

    Biden works as well because of that darn D.

  8. Debbo 2019-12-17

    Mike and Mac, 🙄🥴👏👏👏

  9. leslie 2019-12-17

    Corporations are a legal fiction that allows politicians to protect their board ceo & officers from accountability for bad acts enabling them with limited liability for civil and criminal acts on behalf of their “capitalism”- one of the many subsidies lawyers and accountants crafted and industrialized for the benefit largely of the 1%. Bernie and Liz seem willing to tackle this inequity.

  10. Rough Rider 2019-12-17

    In the Manufacturing World, willful OSHA violations are fined in the Thousands.

    Somebody made a deal with somebody. It smells like a “Good Ole Boy” deal.

    My 2 Cents.

  11. Porter Lansing 2019-12-17

    Is it true that in SD if you’re injured in an amusement park due to the negligence of the owner that you can be forced to comply with a urine test to investigate whether you’re a chronic user of marijuana? If you test positive (which shows you ingested within the last three weeks) you’re arrested and the positive test negates any criminal or civil liability to the corporation owning the carnival rides? Weren’t unique laws which only apply to amusement parks shuffled through the legislature with the help of a certain lobbyist?

  12. Eve Fisher 2019-12-18

    Someone got paid.

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