Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bollen, Bollen, Bollen . . . Is That Money Stolen? . . . Keep Them Lawsuits Rollin' . . . And Hide! **

     It took me a couple of days to get to Seth Tupper's piece on the latest act in the EB-5 drama
Bollen And Former Gov.  Rounds
I Invite A Caption Contest.  Readers?
(photo from teapartytribune.com.)
in the Rapid City Journal last Thursday.  
In Thursdays piece in RCJ
Tupper reports some details in the ongoing sue-a-thon between the State of South Dakota and former EB-5 facilitator Joop Bollen. Left out in this episode is the continuing saga of the Chinese investors who are suing everybody in sight because they believe they got royally ewed-scray (to the tune of $18 million) during their participation in the FUBAR ("Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition"--although in the Marines we didn't say "fouled") investment scheme.  Seems like one of the things Bollen (through his firm SDRC, Inc.) did, according to the State of South Dakota (that's us, folks) was help himself to a million bucks that he collected in fees from foreign investors, fees that were supposed to go into an indemnification fund (read "emergency cash needed for unexpected expenses, including lawsuits") that was part of his contract with our state.
     If this is indeed what happened, Bollen ripped us off.  The state claims, per Tupper's piece, "the accounts holding these indemnification funds were closed without notice to the State" and that "unbenownst to the State SDRC transferred the funds into a new third account."  I'm sure we'll get a counterclaim or some sort of explanation from Bollen as to how that money migrated from a fund in which the state has a stake to a checking account that is owned exclusively by SDRC.  We enquiring minds and short-changed citizens of South Dakota, who've lost what appears to be $120 million or so in the EB-5 program, would like to know.  
    And while we're at it, how about some information on just how this lucrative deal passed from the state's control to Joop Bollen's?  The latest batch of lawsuits and subsequent media copy
Meantime . . .
How Did Bollen Get Away Wth This?
(photo from madvilletimes.com--Thanks, Cory)
being dedicated to them are having the effect of taking attention away from the main point in this messed up deal--the main point being, just how the H did Joop Bollen, who was running the EB-5 program for the State of South Dakota, manage to hijack it and all of its subsequent fees by turning the operation over to himself via his corporation SDRC, Inc.?  

     Meantime, if the State of South Dakota is so sure that Bollen essentially stole money from us--sure enough to pursue the matter in civil court, anyway--why isn't our Attorney General Marty Jackley doing something about this?  I mean, the taking "without notice" of public money and then transferring that money "unbenownst" to us sounds like plain old fashioned "theft" to me.  It also coincides with every legal definition of theft that I've found on-line, which basically comes down to intentionally and fraudulently taking someone's property without that person's consent. That's the gist of South Dakota's civil claim.  Why doesn't the criminal justice system see it the same way?  


**My thanks to the anonymous reader who has a taste for great old TV westerns, in this case Rawhide.
     

4 comments:

  1. Will the attorney general of this state allow this to continue??!!! Me thinks so. Every crook in jail for theft of whatever should be damn angry at this injustice of the state.

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  2. Thank you for again asking the basic question at the bottom of this deal. How in the heck can a State employee privatize a function of State government, write the contract for the privatization, and award it to himself?

    Nick Nemec

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  3. John, you wrote, "The state claims, per Tupper's piece, "the accounts holding these indemnification funds were closed without notice to the State" and that "unbenownst to the State SDRC transferred the funds into a new third account."

    Didn't Mr Bollen use the example set forth by the legislature several times over the years, when they took money that was dedicated for k-12 education and put it into the general fund so that they could syphon that money for their wants rather than for the education for which it was intended?

    And you asked, " And while we're at it, how about some information on just how this lucrative deal passed from the state's control to Joop Bollen's?"

    Wasn't that one of the last acts of MM Rounds before he left the governor's office?

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    1. Lanny, on Q1, I don't recall the set-up but note that it seems like everybody was on to it, unlike the state's claim in the suit I'm referencing that nobody in the state knew that Bollen was transferring the funds. As to Q2, that the transfer was a done deal acknowledged by the Rounds administration doesn't explain how Bollen was able to contract with himself on the state's behalf in order to transfer the EB-5 operation to himself from South Dakota. That was a fateful event, costing SD many millions of dollars. As resident I want to know who knew about this and why it was allowed to occur.

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