The Latest: Democrats hope arrest lifts 'veil of secrecy'

AP News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2016 6:29 PM

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on South Dakota charging a former official who ran an immigration program with diverting money (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party says she hopes the arrest of the man who administered the state's participation in a federal program offering that offers visas to wealthy immigrants in return for investment will lift the "veil of secrecy" that has surrounded the issue.

Court records show that Joop Bollen has been charged with five felony counts including that he diverted money from an account meant to protect the state from losses into his company's main account. Attorney General Marty Jackley said Thursday that Bollen turned himself in on an arrest warrant and has been freed on bond.

Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones says South Dakota residents deserve to know what caused the waste and mismanagement of taxpayer money and the stain on South Dakota's reputation. She says Democrats called for a more thorough investigation in 2014, and Thursday's disclosure shows that Republicans were wrong to oppose that request.

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5 p.m.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he appreciates the efforts of Attorney General Marty Jackley in investigating the state's handling of a federal program offering wealthy immigrants visas in return for investment.

Court records show that Joop Bollen has been charged with five felony counts including that he diverted money from an account meant to protect the state from losses into his company's main account.

Jackley said Thursday that Bollen turned himself in on an arrest warrant and has been freed on bond.

Daugaard in a statement released Thursday that the wheels of justice turn slowly, but the state continues to pursue the matter in civil and criminal court.

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3:30 p.m.

Court records show that a former official who ran a program offering wealthy immigrants visas in return for investment in South Dakota has been charged with five felony counts including that he diverted money from an account meant to protect the state from losses into his company's main account.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Thursday that the official, Joop Bollen, turned himself in on an arrest warrant and has been freed on bond

Bollen declined to comment when reached via telephone by The Associated Press on Thursday. His first court appearance was scheduled for Friday in at the Brown County Courthouse in Aberdeen.

The charges center around SDRC Inc., a regional center handling South Dakota's participation in the EB-5 immigration visa program, which recruits investment dollars from wealthy immigrants in exchange for easier entry into the United States.

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3 p.m.

South Dakota filed felony charges against the former official who ran a program offering wealthy immigrants visas in return for investment, following an investigation of alleged financial misconduct, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Thursday.

Jackley said the official, Joop Bollen, turned himself in on an arrest warrant and has been freed on bond. Jackley's statement didn't detail the charges.

Bollen declined to comment when reached via telephone by The Associated Press on Thursday. His first court appearance was scheduled for Friday in at the Brown County Courthouse in Aberdeen.

The charges center around SDRC Inc., a regional center handling South Dakota's participation in the EB-5 immigration visa program, which recruits investment dollars from wealthy immigrants in exchange for easier entry into the United States.