South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard considering suing to recover $550,000 in EB-5 funds

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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is considering filing a lawsuit to recover $550,000 meant to go to a beef plant involved in an investment-for-green-card program.

The Argus Leader (http://argusne.ws/1nq94Yj ) reports a private lawyer has been working for months to determine whether the state can reclaim the money.

The EB-5 visa program is under scrutiny in South Dakota because of allegations of financial misconduct at the Governor's Office of Economic Development. A state audit found that before Richard Benda left his job as head of economic development in 2010, he tacked on an extra $550,000 to a grant to help the beef plant.

Attorney General Marty Jackley has said the same amount was improperly diverted to SDRC Inc., Benda's new employer and administrator of the EB-5 program. Benda died in October.

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