Investigates update: Motel owner with outstanding property tax bills gets more than $300k in state grant


A California man who promised a $50 million investment in more than 20 motels across the state was the subject of our KELOLAND News investigation in February of 2020.

We uncovered that AG Dakota, owned by Alan Gross of Covina, California, bought up properties starting in 2018, all through contract for deed from their original owners, and left behind a trail of unpaid bills. Now, AG Dakota has received a COVID-19 small business grant from the state for more than $300,000.

AG Dakota failed to pay many of their employees and vendors, as well as property taxes in counties throughout the state. Several motels closed. Others went back to their original owners.

At the time of our original investigation, AG Dakota LLC owed at least $72,000 in back taxes for at least eight motels in South Dakota.’

Now, AG Dakota is down to ownership of just two motels, The Wagner Lakeside Motel and America’s Best Value Inn & Suites Clear Lake.

The company has just received a $309,234 small business grant from the state as part of the CARES Act.

CRF Small Business Grant Payments

Gross tells KELOLAND Investigates that he worked out payments with vendors he owed money to across the state and that his property taxes were all up to date.

Alan Gross of Covina, CA, is owner of AG Dakota LLC

However, KELOLAND Investigates checked and discovered that AG Dakota still owes back taxes in Deuel County, where its Clear Lake motel is located, to the tune of $14,590.

In Charles Mix County, where the Wagner motel is, AG Dakota owes $10,589.

We also checked back with some county treasurers where AG Dakota’s motels had gone back to their original owners.

The company owes $7,352 in back taxes in Edmunds County and $10,000 in McCook County; all under the AG Dakota name.

KELOLAND Investigates reached AG Dakota owner, Alan Gross by phone in California.

Gross says he plans to use the hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from the state for remodeling the Wagner Lakeside Motel and paying off his bills more quickly.

While he wouldn’t agree to a video interview, he said that business was down at the Wagner motel by 70 percent in October. He also said he’s hoping to sell the Clear Lake motel.

AG Dakota’s back taxes have been paid off in some counties where Gross formerly owned motels.

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