Joop Bollen has five counts against him for unauthorized disposal of personal property subject to security interest, with a maximum penalty of two years of incarceration for each count.
"Ultimately it is the state's position that Mr. Bollen inappropriately converted or disposed of that security interest, in about a $1.4 million," says Marty Jackley, South Dakota's Attorney General.
The affidavit says on five different occasions between February and June of 2012, Bollen removed large amounts of money from three different accounts created on behalf of the state for administering the EB-5 program. The money was then placed into a primary account for Bollen's company, the South Dakota Regional Center. Jackley believes Bollen used the money to buy expensive art.
"I think it's fair to state as set forth in the affidavit, Mr. Bollen was involved in the process of removing those secured funds, funds that were there to protect the state, and used to do certain things with converting it to his own use," says Jackley.
The affidavit also mentioned that of the five times Bollen took money from the state's funds, the accounts were fully replenished except for one transfer. There is still $166,000 missing.
The South Dakota Democratic Party was vocal of their desire to see Bollen charged, and Jackley says this is a step in the right direction.
"One of the responsibilities of the Attorney General is to enforce the laws, and part of my desire is to bring back the integrity of state government," says Jackley.
Jackley also reiterated that Bollen is presumed innocent until proven guilty. His preliminary hearing is set for May 13.
- South Dakota
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