A spokesman for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services told KELOLAND News Tuesday that the FBI is investigating the South Dakota Regional Center and its administration of the EB-5 program.
The news comes nearly a week after South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard said there is a federal and state investigation into the happenings inside the state economic development office prior to his administration. It also follows an Associated Press report that says officials with the Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen confirmed that its finances are being investigated.
The South Dakota Regional Center was closely-affiliated with the South Dakota Economic Development office to recruit investors in the beef plant in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The EB-5 program is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as a tool to recruit foreign investors in American projects by easing their immigration process. Documents detail at least 120 different EB-5 investors in the Northern Beef Packers plant.
The FBI would not comment on the status of the investigation into the South Dakota Regional Center.
The state of South Dakota ended its relationship with the South Dakota Regional Center in September.