Plea Agreement Reached In South Dakota’s EB-5 Visa Case

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) – The man who once ran South Dakota’s scandal-ridden investment-for-visa program has reached a deal with prosecutors in a high-profile financial misconduct case.

The Aberdeen American News reports that 53-year-old Joop Bollen pleaded guilty Wednesday to one of five felony counts he was facing.

Bollen, of Aberdeen, had previously pleaded innocent. He was accused of diverting more than $1.2 million from an account created as part of a contract with the state to protect it against costs or liability from the EB-5 visa program.

Authorities say the money was mostly replenished.

The charges dealt with a company Bollen founded that previously handled South Dakota’s participation in the EB-5 visa program. Bollen was scheduled to go to trial in February.

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