Timeline: South Dakota's EB-5 regional center

Timeline: South Dakota's EB-5 regional center

EB-5 Visa, EB5 Visa, EB-5 Investment

A timeline of some major developments related to South Dakota's EB-5 regional center:

2004: The federal government approves an application for a state-run regional center in South Dakota to handle investments made as part of the federal EB-5 program, which grants U.S. residency to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in job-creating projects.

2009: A company called SDRC Inc. is awarded a contract to take over operation of the regional center on behalf of state government. The company is owned by Joop Bollen, who formerly ran the regional center as a state employee. 

2013: The state terminates its contract with SDRC Inc. after federal investigators begin looking into potential improprieties in the operation of the regional center. The body of Richard Benda, the former state employee who oversaw the contract with SDRC Inc. and then went to work for the company, is found in rural Lake Andes. His death is deemed a suicide, and it's revealed that he was facing potential prosecution for allegedly stealing state grant money intended for an EB-5 project.

2015: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announces its intent to terminate South Dakota's EB-5 regional center, citing numerous examples of mismanagement.

2016: Joop Bollen is charged in state court with five counts of unauthorized disposal of personal property subject to a security interest, in connection with his handling of EB-5 funds. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issues its determination to terminate South Dakota's EB-5 regional center but refers the decision to an Administrative Appeals Office for further review.



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