The attorney for a man who once ran South Dakota's scandal-ridden investment-for-visa program said Friday the state is trying to make his client a scapegoat by bringing felony charges against him.
Joop Bollen made his first court appearance on charges of diverting more than $1.2 million — through different transfers in 2012 — from an account meant to protect the state from losses. Authorities link the money transfers to Bollen's purchase of an Egyptian artifact, among other uses such as buying bonds.
A court affidavit said most of the money was repaid to the account, but a state investigator said in the document that a nearly $167,000 transfer does not appear to have been refunded. Bollen does not face theft charges.
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