The man who once ran South Dakota’s scandal-ridden investment-for-visa program has pleaded not guilty to felony charges stemming from a financial misconduct investigation.
The Aberdeen American News reports that Joop Bollen wasn’t required to enter a plea at Friday’s arraignment. But his attorney, Reed Rasmussen, entered a not guilty plea and requested a jury trial.
No trial date was set, but Judge Tony Portra said it would likely be sometime this fall.
The charges deal with SDRC Inc., a company Bollen founded that previously handled South Dakota’s participation in the EB-5 visa program.
Bollen allegedly diverted more than $1.2 million from an account created as part of a state contract to protect it against costs or liability from the program. Authorities say the money was mostly replenished.
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