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:
- “Mr. Bollen was an employee of the Board of Regents.” Mike Rounds, Testimony; 9.22.14.
- “…[T]he program and the personnel were responsible to the South Dakota Board of Regents.” – Mike Rounds, Black Hills Pioneer; 10.2.14.
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:
- GOED was the first public body interested in EB5 (Bollen, 10)
- 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)
- GOED funded Joop Bollen’s EB5 activities with “negligible” resources and “limited” cooperation with NSU. (Meyer, 25; Bollen, 63; Bollen 130; Bollen, 340)
- GOED and Department of Agriculture selected investment projects for the EB5 program. (Meyer, 60; Bollen, 11; Bollen, 13; Bollen, 36; Bollen, 135)
- GOED assigned Bollen’s duties. (Meyer, 26)
- Bollen reported primarily to GOED – not NSU. (Meyer, 28; Meyer, 34; Bollen, 129; Bollen 152)
- Bollen submitted his budgets to GOED – not NSU. (Meyer, 34-35)
- GOED participated in meetings concerning problems in the EB5 program. (Meyer, 56; Bollen 64)
- GOED signed immigrant investor recruitment contracts with Bollen. (Meyer, 57)
- 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 EB5 depositions can be found at the links below: