After bankruptcy, where is EB-5 cash, visas?


WHERE’S THE BEEF?: South Dakota official Richard Benda reportedly killed himself amid investigations into the Northern Beef Packers EB-5 project he oversaw.

By Kenric Ward |

A bankrupt meatpacking plant in South Dakota has left Chinese investors without promised visas, and another black eye for America’s EB-5 immigration program.

Records obtained by the Rapid City Journal show that at least 50 Chinese nationals invested $500,000 each in the Northern Beef Packers plant.

“Most of those investors, however, have not gotten their visas, and they appear unlikely to get back their investments,” the newspaper reported.

“Right now, it’s unclear where all that money went,” the Journal story stated. reported on the South Dakota situation in February.

The Journal quoted David North, a policy analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies and critic of America’s EB-5 program.

The Chinese government is so concerned about this type of abuse that “they’re cracking down on people selling EB-5 projects in China,” North told the Journal.

Kenric Ward is a national reporter for and chief of the Virginia Bureau. Contact him at or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward