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FBI confirms ‘active’ investigation into Mike Rounds EB5 citizenship-for-sale scheme

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BREAKING
FBI confirms ‘active’ investigation into
Mike Rounds EB5 citizenship-for-sale scheme

The Mike Rounds citizenship-for-sale scheme is under an ‘active’ investigation by the FBI according to a breaking report from KELO. South Dakota Democratic Party executive director Zach Crago released the following statement:

“Mike Rounds is clearly in trouble. His citizenship-for-sale scheme resulted in high profile bankruptcies, lawsuits, audits, legislative hearings, and now a confirmed ‘active’ investigation by the FBI.

The fact is Mike Rounds ran the EB5 program out of the Governor’s Office, and he’s been covering up his role in the EB5 scandal ever since.

South Dakotans just cant trust Mike Rounds to tell the truth, and the FBI knows it.”

FBI Says EB-5 Investigation Remains ‘Active’
Keloland.com
October 22, 2014, 12:44 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

The FBI says an investigation into the South Dakota Regional Center and the federal EB-5 program is still ‘active.’

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard announced a year ago that the state economic development office was under investigation by state and federal officials. A spokesman with U.S. Customs and Immigration Services later confirmed last November that the FBI investigation involved the EB-5 program.

South Dakota U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson has refused to confirm or deny an investigation into the federal program as the circumstances surrounding EB-5 have become a heavily-debated issue in the race for South Dakota’s open U.S. Senate seat.

However, on Wednesday Kyle Loven, the media coordinator for the FBI’s regional office in Minneapolis, confirmed to KELOLAND News that the probe into the EB-5 program in South Dakota, ‘remains an active investigation.’ Loven wouldn’t confirm any other details citing that the case is ongoing.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said in July that the state has wrapped up its investigation and was ready to indict former South Dakota Secretary of Tourism and State Development Richard Benda shortly before Benda committed suicide last October.

EB5 Citizenship-for-sale  Kings Joop Bollen & Mike Rounds

EB5 Citizenship-for-sale Kings Joop Bollen & Mike Rounds

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FACT SHEET from EB5 depositions: Mike Rounds owns EB5 scandal

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FACT SHEET from EB5 depositions:

Mike Rounds owns EB5 scandal

Sioux Falls, SD (October 21) – Mike Rounds owns the EB5 scandal. That much is clear after an exhaustive analysis of EB5 depositions filed under penalty of perjury, says Zach Crago, Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party.

“Mike Rounds has tried to lay all the blame for the EB5 scandal on the Board of Regents. But EB5 depositions make clear that Mike Rounds’ office was fully in charge of the EB5 program, and there is no amount of finger pointing and amending of testimony that can change this indisputable fact.”

The South Dakota Democratic Party produced the following fact sheet from depositions leaked from EB5 litigation (also attached):

Governors Office of Economic Development ran EB5 – not Board of Regents

When it comes to the EB5 scandal, Mike Rounds has made it clear that the Board of Regents bears all the blame. In his written testimony to the Government Operations & Audit Committee and public statements, Rounds said:

The truth is a different matter. Mike Rounds’ Governor’s Office of Economic Development was clearly in charge of the EB5 program, according to depositions from state officials under penalty of perjury. Here is a summary of GOED’s role in the EB5 program:

  1. GOED was the first public body interested in EB5 (Bollen, 10)
  2. GOED granted Joop Bollen’s South Dakota International Business Institute authority to run the EB5 program. (Meyer, 23; Meyer, 39; Meyer, 50; Bollen, 126-127; Bollen, 131; Bollen 216; Bollen, 230)
  3. GOED funded Joop Bollen’s EB5 activities with “negligible” resources and “limited” cooperation with NSU. (Meyer, 25; Bollen, 63; Bollen 130; Bollen, 340)
  4. GOED and Department of Agriculture selected investment projects for the EB5 program. (Meyer, 60; Bollen, 11; Bollen, 13; Bollen, 36; Bollen, 135)
  5. GOED assigned Bollen’s duties. (Meyer, 26)
  6. Bollen reported primarily to GOED – not NSU. (Meyer, 28; Meyer, 34; Bollen, 129; Bollen 152)
  7. Bollen submitted his budgets to GOED – not NSU. (Meyer, 34-35)
  8. GOED participated in meetings concerning problems in the EB5 program. (Meyer, 56; Bollen 64)
  9. GOED signed immigrant investor recruitment contracts with Bollen. (Meyer, 57)
  10. GOED used its letterhead for EB5 authorization documents (Meyer, 66; Bollen, 78)

In short, the Board of Regents was not in charge of the EB5 program. Mike Rounds’ office granted Bollen authority to run the EB5 program, funded his EB5 activities, selected projects for EB5 funding, assigned Bollen’s responsibilities, and received regular reports among other things.

The fact is Mike Rounds owns the EB5 scandal – and there’s no amount of amending testimony that can make up for the parade of documents that contradict Rounds’ previous statements.

The EB5 depositions can be found at the links below:

DEPOSITION: John Meyer, Northern State University attorney
DEPOSITION: James Shekleton, Board of Regents General Counsel
DEPOSITION: Joop Bollen, EB5 program director

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Whistleblower releases more EB5 depositions

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 17, 2014

Whistleblower releases more EB5 depositions

DEPOSITION: John Meyer, Northern State University attorney
DEPOSITION: James Shekleton, Board of Regents General Counsel

Sioux Falls, SD (October 17) – A whistleblower has released more EB5 depositions after the Board of Regents continued to withhold public EB5 records without any legal authority to do so in order to protect Republican US Senate candidate Mike Rounds who championed the scandalized EB5 program as governor.

The documents can be found at the links below:

DEPOSITION: John Meyer, Northern State University attorney
DEPOSITION: James Shekleton, Board of Regents General Counsel

###

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First report on Bollen deposition reveals disturbing new facts about Mike Rounds

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Contacts: Zach Crago, 605-271-5405, zach@sddp.org

First report on Bollen deposition reveals disturbing new facts about Mike Rounds

1) Governor Mike Rounds’ team intervened in Board of Regents affairs to protect Joop Bollen and most importantly the “train” of EB5 money propping up Mike Rounds’ top political priorities like the Northern Beef Packing plant.

2) Rounds employee Joop Bollen regularly reported to Governor Mike Rounds’ office in stark contrast to previous assertions by Mike Rounds.

3) With legal turmoil afoot, the Board of Regents orchestrated Joop Bollen’s resignation from SDRC Inc and Bollen’s eventual return to SDRC Inc all while Bollen was a Rounds employee.

4) The Governors Office of Economic Development, Board of Regents, and the Attorney General’s office have no excuse left to continue withholding Bollen’s deposition, legal correspondence, exhibits, memoranda and other deposition transcripts from the EB5 litigation.

5) Nothing in the report exonerates Mike Rounds. In fact, the report further incriminates Mike Rounds as the EB5 scandal engulfs his campaign.

EB5 Citizenship-for-sale  Kings Joop Bollen & Mike Rounds

EB5 Citizenship-for-sale Kings Joop Bollen & Mike Rounds

The report further reinforces the indisputable facts in the EB5 scandal.

1) Mike Rounds’ employee Joop Bollen signed an illegal contract with a company he owned to manage the EB5 program, a key component of the Rounds economic development strategy.

2) As a result of the illegal contract, Joop Bollen walked off with a $108 million in EB5 fees that belong to the people of South Dakota.

3) Mike Rounds knew about his employee’s illegal activities, and Mike Rounds didn’t fire Joop Bollen; Rounds rewarded him with a sweetened no-bid contract in December of 2009.

4) When asked questions about the EB5 scandal by a legislative committee, Mike Rounds submitted testimony that the Rapid City Journal quickly found to be untrue. Submitting false testimony as Mike Rounds did is a class 6 felony in South Dakota.

5) Even now after everyone agrees that Rounds employee Joop Bollen had an illegal contract that enriched himself over $100 mil, Mike Rounds continues to protect and cover up for his employee.

In Case You Missed It

Bollen’s deposition explains how EB-5 became privatized
Management shifted from NSU campus to Rounds’ administration in 2009
Aberdeen American News, Bob Mercer
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PIERRE — The EB-5 controversy raging in South Dakota’s U.S. Senate race began with an obscure episode seven years ago on the other side of the world.

Joop Bollen flew to China to help inform potential investors about a fish-raising business proposed near Pierre. [Read the full story at Aberdeen American News.]

 

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Rounds busted lying on EB5 again!

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 10, 2014
Contacts: Zach Crago

BREAKING – Rounds busted lying on EB5 again!

Mike Rounds has been caught in another lie just a week after the Rapid City Journal revealed a document that directly contradicted Rounds’ written testimony provided a legislative panel investigating the EB5 scandal.

10.2.14: “I didn’t personally travel or recruit investors.” – Mike Rounds [Aberdeen American News]

10.10.14: Argus Leader: Rounds solicited EB-5 investors in 2005 [Argus Leader]

Contrary to Rounds’ previous statements, Rounds was in fact personally recruiting EB5 investors right out of the Governor’s Office.

Question is – How many more previous statements does Mike Rounds have to amend now?

The Undisputed Facts in the EB5 scandal.

1) Mike Rounds’ employee Joop Bollen signed an illegal contract with a company he owned to manage the EB5 program, a key component of the Rounds economic development strategy.

2) As a result of the illegal contract, Joop Bollen walked off with a $108 million in EB5 fees that belong to the people of South Dakota.

3) Mike Rounds knew about his employee’s illegal activities, and Mike Rounds didn’t fire Joop Bollen; Rounds rewarded him with a sweetened no-bid contract in December of 2009.

4) When asked questions about the EB5 scandal by a legislative committee, Mike Rounds submitted testimony that the Rapid City Journal quickly found to be untrue. Submitting false testimony as Mike Rounds did is a class 6 felony in South Dakota.

5) Even now after everyone agrees that Rounds employee Joop Bollen had an illegal contract that enriched himself over $100 million, Mike Rounds continues to protect and cover up for his employee.

EB5 Citizenship-for-sale  Kings Joop Bollen & Mike Rounds

EB5 Citizenship-for-sale Kings Joop Bollen & Mike Rounds

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