Joop Bollen pleads guilty to one of five felony charges, receives two years probation
Joop Bollen took a plea deal that results in no jail, but a $2,000 fine and two years probation.
"As a further condition of the plea agreement, Mr. Bollen agreed to cooperate with the state to testify honestly and truthfully if there's a need for any future proceedings," explains South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.
As part of the plea deal, Bollen admitted to take $300,000 from the EB-5 program fund in February of 2012. These funds were used to purchase tax increment financing (TIF) bonds in Brown County. The money was fully replaced just three days later, which turns theft charges into unauthorized disposal of personal property subject to security interest.
The state is dropping the remainder of the charges against Bollen. If Bollen violates any part of the deal, the state is able to end the agreement and sentence Bollen on all five original charges.
Judge Tony Portra decided against jail time due to inmate overpopulation and Bollen's "unique circumstances." During the entire plea hearing, Bollen was quiet besides giving short statements to the judge. After everything was over, he said he has no further comments to make.
The South Dakota Democratic Party isn't happy with the sentence. They released a statement today saying, "Attorney General Marty Jackley let Bollen off with a lenient plea deal that only required Bollen to plead guilty to one of five charges. Bollen misused hundreds of thousand of South Dakota tax-payer dollars and Jackley's agreement with Bollen means Bollen will not spend a day in jail for his involvement with EB-5."
- South Dakota
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