South Dakota charges former official in immigration scandal

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota filed felony charges against the former official who ran a program offering wealthy immigrants visas in return for investment, following an investigation of alleged financial misconduct, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Thursday.

Jackley said the official, Joop Bollen, turned himself in on an arrest warrant and has been freed on bond. Jackley’s statement didn’t detail the charges.

Bollen declined to comment when reached via telephone by The Associated Press on Thursday. His first court appearance was scheduled for Friday in at the Brown County Courthouse in Aberdeen.

The charges center around SDRC Inc., a regional center handling South Dakota’s participation in the EB-5 immigration visa program, which recruits investment dollars from wealthy immigrants in exchange for easier entry into the United States.