Federal trial begins in Global Aquaponics case

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The second man charged in the Global Aquaponics scheme is going on trial in federal court. 

Last week Tobias Ritesman plead guilty to 18 fraud charges for stealing $400,000 from investors for the phony project. As we told you last week on KELOLAND News, the government has dropped several charges against Tim Burns. 

He now faces five counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting in the crimes. 

On Tuesday morning, a panel of potential jurors in Burns’ case is being whittled down from 31 to 13. A list of potential witnesses was read during jury selection. They include former Global Aquaponics CEO John Haverhals and another former company executive Andre Grant.

Former Board of Regents president and former legislator Dean Krogman may also testify. Krogman purchased the land for the project south of Brookings by trading in a twin home he owned for it. 

KELOLAND News Director Beth Jensen may also be called to testify because of KELOLAND Investigates original interview with Ritesman at the June 2016 groundbreaking of the project.  

Our video was subpoenaed for the trial. 

A number of investors who lost money in the scheme may also take the stand. KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke has been coving the story from the beginning. She will be in the the courtroom as the trial gets underway and will bring you the latest Tuesday on KELOLAND News. 

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