SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — State officials began upping their oversight of a private company contracted to solicit foreign investors in 2012.
But questions were first raised about South Dakota’s use of the federal EB-5 investment-for-green-cards immigration program four years earlier.
The Government Operations and Audit Committee in 2008 wanted information about a little-known nonprofit operation at Northern State University in Aberdeen called the South Dakota International Business Institute and its director, Joop (YOHP) Bollen.
The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development in September ended its contract with Bollen’s private corporation, SDRC Inc., ‘‘for cause, effective immediately.’’
Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s spokesman, Tony Venhuizen, says it became clear that SDRC had been ‘‘acting very independently’’ and needed better oversight.
Bollen declined comment Tuesday.
GOED is under investigation for possible financial misconduct prior to Daugaard’s administration.