For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Sen. Larry Lucas: Rounds, Bollen, Sveen reject invitation to testify under oath in person on EB5 scandal
Time for GOAC to issue subpoenas
Pickstown, SD (September 4, 2014) —State Senator Larry Lucas, who sits on the Government Operations & Audit Committee charged with investigating the EB5 citizenship-for-sale scandal, is calling for GOAC Chair Larry Tidemann to issue subpoenas now that Mike Rounds, Joop Bollen, and Jeff Sveen have rejected his invitation to testify under oath and in person at the next GOAC meeting on Sept. 24.
Governor Dennis Daugaard’s staff said GOAC Chair Sen. Larry Tidemann has verbally invited Daugaard to attend, and Daugaard wouldn’t make a decision to testify in person under oath until he receives a written notice from Tidemann.
Sen. Larry Lucas released the following statement after his September 3rd deadline for an RSVP came and past:
“Today, I’m calling on GOAC Chair State Senator Larry Tidemann to subpoena EB5 Insiders Mike Rounds, Dennis Daugaard, Joop Bollen, and Jeff Sveen.
“Last week, I invited Mike Rounds, Dennis Daugaard, Joop Bollen, and Jeff Sveen to testify in person and under oath about the EB5 scandal unfolding across the state. Only Governor Dennis Daugaard’s staff responded. That’s a disgrace to me, the office I hold, the state legislature, and the people of South Dakota.
“Rounds, Daugaard, Bollen, and Sveen have an obligation to South Dakota taxpayers to testify under oath and in person about the EB5 scandal.
“Mike Rounds gave his public employee Joop Bollen a no-bid contract to administer the EB5 program. Governor Dennis Daugaard’s administration handed a $1 million check to a private citizen monitoring EB5 investments. And Joop Bollen and Jeff Sveen made millions of dollars managing the lucrative EB5 franchise while South Dakota taxpayers got stuck with the bill when the scheme fell apart.
“South Dakotans deserve to know: What did they know and when did they know it?
“Many of the state’s top leaders also want to leave all the EB-5 blame with Richard Benda, but they refuse to ask a simple question editorials across the state have already asked: Did Benda act alone? We can only find out with face to face testimony under oath and on the record from the biggest players in the EB5 scandal: Mike Rounds, Dennis Daugaard, Joop Bollen and Jeff Sveen.
“If there’s nothing to hide, why keep secrets? South Dakotans have a right to know about the EB5 citizenship-for-sale scandal.”