Beef plant and EB-5 scandal hits South Dakota

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South Dakota’s EB-5 program has gained a lot of negative attention lately and is currently under investigation. The program allows foreign investors a chance to buy green cards by investing in jobs in the United States according to CIS.org on Nov. 11.

The EB-5 program has helped at risk businesses and created new jobs in the South Dakota area. The program undergoing investigations could mean the loss of jobs for many people and may be bad news for college students as well. According to an article on MartinDale.com on July 26, EB-5 financing may be a solution for colleges seeking funds for ventures and help create jobs for waiting college student graduates if it works out for other businesses.

Richard Benda was the former Secretary of Tourism and State Development of South Dakota. According to CIS.org on Nov. 11, Benda was apparently found dead while pheasant hunting. The death appeared to be a hunting accident.

Investigators are treating it as though it were a crime. This is just one of the investigations going along with the EB-5 program. Benda was involved in South Dakota’s EB-5 program and worked as a loan monitor for South Dakota Regional Center’s loans to Northern Beef Packers Plant in Aberdeen, which amounted to millions of dollars according to ArgusLeader.com on Nov. 10.

Northern Beef Packers plant is a part of the EB-5 program and is currently in bankruptcy and under investigation for misconduct of its funds. The alleged scandal has federal investigators looking for answers in what could be potential criminal activity but refused to say whether or not Benda was subject of the investigation according to a recent article in ArgusLeader.com on Nov. 10.

The EB-5 program works to attract foreign investors with the promise of citizenship. Benda worked to encourage these investors to help create jobs in South Dakota according to EB5Info.com.

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