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South Dakota probe finds double billing by Benda on airline flights


Pierre, SD (KELO-AM) State Attorney General Marty Jackley says a state investigation has found that former South Dakota economic development director Richard Benda double billed the state for at least three airline flights, two to China and one to Las Vegas.

Benda was found dead last month with a gunshot wound to the abdomen and the autopsy report ruled it a suicide.

Jackley says the investigation has also revealed that half of a $1 million state grant to the now bankrupt Northern Beef Packers was improperly diverted to pay immigration loan monitoring fees. The diverted fees went to SDRC Inc., a private company contracted by the state to handle federal EB-5 investments.

The EP-5 program encouraged foreigners to invest in U-S projects in return for green cards.