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September 08, 2014 05:17 PM

Democrats: Bollen Signed His Own EB-5 Contract

Sioux Falls, SD

South Dakota Democrats say the former head of the state's EB-5 program, Joop Bollen, signed his own contract to privatize the administration of the immigrant investor program.

Democrats revealed new documents Monday that show that Bollen, who was working to recruit foreign investors as a state employee at Northern State University, privatized the entire operation by signing it over to SDRC Inc. in January of 2008, which was a company he was in charge of.

SDRC Inc. administered the program on behalf of the state until the contract was terminated last year following news of a federal investigation.

Previous Coverage: AG: Benda Indictment Came Days Prior To Possible Indictment

"The big deal is that at that time Joop Bollen was a high ranking state official who signed a contract on behalf of the state with a company he owned,” Representative Kathy Tyler (D) Big Stone City said at a news conference Monday.

Republicans called the news conference 'nonsensical' and are calling on U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, a Democrat, to reveal what he has found out in his investigation of the program.

  • Politics
  • South Dakota
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