Northern Beef's EB-5 funds in question - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Northern Beef's EB-5 funds in question

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There is more information involving the federal investigation into Northern Beef Packers and the funding from a federal immigration program that supplied much of its funding -- the EB-5 Program.

That program is designed to encourage foreigners to invest in businesses in the US that would produce jobs in certain areas of the country. Aberdeen is one of those areas eligible for financing.

In this case with the EB-5 Program, a foreign investor would invest $500,000 in that business.

That investor would either receive equity interest or contribute money to loan to that business. In Northern Beef's case, it was both.

In addition to receiving investment interest, they would receive eligibility for a green card if their money remained in the plant for a certain period of time and produced a certain economic job impact.

Funds contributed to this program are in question.

It was in the spring that the Attorney General received requests to look into concerns for allocations relating to financial misconduct at the Office of Economic Development.

"This is the first time that requests for a review or to look at a misconduct has occurred during my tenure as attorney general," said South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.

The Attorney General says with these type of white-collar crimes, the state typically works hand-in-hand with federal authorities.

Northern Beef Packers was contacted by the US Attorney's Office and FBI asking for documents and information pertaining to the Office of Economic Development and Richard Benda.

Northern Beef's attorney says Benda was an employee of South Dakota Investment Fund. Benda does have a connection with Northern Beef however.


"We borrowed money from them and there was a requirement that there be a loan monitor and he was their loan monitor for our loan. We paid his salary but he wasn't a direct employee of ours. He was an employee of SDIF. He monitored the loan for them," said Rory King, Northern Beef's attorney.

Attorney General Jackley says because Benda was found dead with a gun shot wound, authorities are treating that area as a crime scene until they receive further information.

"The information we're waiting on includes both the final autopsy report as well as some additional forensic testing. And we believe we will have that information in about two to four weeks at which time I intend to release that to the public," said Jackley.

Northern Beef's attorney says there's an auction sale of Northern Beef scheduled for December 5. From what he's been told, he said id it won't affect the rights of the EB-5 investors to receive their citizenship or green cards.



 

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