The Gloves Come Off

by Nick Reid

In the wake of Marty Jackley’s attacks on Kristi Noem’s out-of-state campaign contributions, he really should be careful, lest someone examine his in-state contributions. The Noem campaign’s press release from Tuesday hits the nail on the head and opens up the final blows of a tight primary.

According to the release:

Jackley never investigated sham company, Global Aquaponics. Was it because the fraudster was a “Friend of Marty Jackley”?

Global Aquaponics broke ground south of Brookings in June 2016, but outside of the hole Marty Jackley dug, no construction started. Instead, the company was accused of being a “sham corporation,” and its founder – a “Friend of Marty Jackley” – was caught making “bogus” claims. He “misrepresented” and “misled” South Dakota employees, which led to a $400,000 lawsuit, and was arrested and charged with devising a “scheme to defraud investors.”

Despite questions over violations of state law, no investigation was launched by Marty Jackley. Was it because Global Aquaponics’ founder and fraudster Tobias Ritesman was a Marty Jackley donor who hosted an exclusive political fundraiser for Friends of Marty Jackley? …


What happened?

June 2016: Marty Jackley digs in with Global Aquaponics

With much fanfare, and even South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley picking up a shovel, Global Aquaponics announced … that a new facility … would be built right here in South Dakota.” (KELOLAND)

August 2017: Questions arise over Global Aquaponics claims of state backing

Global Aquaponics founder and Marty Jackley donor “told [KELOLAND] that the project was getting funding through the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development … The Governor’s Office of Economic Development tells KELOLAND News it is not working with Ritesman Enterprises on the project.”

September 2017: Jackley donor continues push for cash, “likely” violating state law

If it’s true that Global Aquaponics continues to seek investors, then the activity is likely violating state law.” (Argus Leader)

December 2017: Jackley donor receives $400,000 judgment for “sham corporation”

The suit, which resulted in a $400,000 judgement, accused Global Aquaponics Founder and Marty Jackley donor of having a “sham corporation.” The plaintiff said the fraudster misrepresented the company’s long-term viability and misled about the truthfulness of investment proposal documents used to solicit investors. (Argus Leader)

January 10, 2018: Jackley donor arrested, charged with defrauding investors

The leader of Global Aquaponics, Tobias Ritesman, is facing federal charges. He made an appearance in federal court … after being indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts of devising a scheme to defraud investors.  He faces up to 20 years on each count.” (KELOLAND)

Still… No investigation by the state. Why?

Was it because the fraudster and CEO, Tobias Ritesman, was a “Friend of Marty Jackley” who hosted an event for Marty Jackley’s PAC in 2016?

What did Ritesman and Marty Jackley discuss when they met for an hour after the groundbreaking?

Now that Ritesman’s been arrested, will Marty Jackley return the fraudster’s funds?

Will Marty Jackley donate the proceeds from the fundraiser hosted for him by Ritesman to help the victims of this fraud?

So, to summarize, sham company defrauds South Dakota investors for a make believe agri-business to which Marty shovels the first (make believe?) dirt. Said perpetrators of fraudulent actions then contribute to Marty’s campaign (with stolen money?) and escape any sort of prosecution or punishment. Marty then shakes his finger at his opponent for out-of-state contributions and attacks after she points out the truth (without actually giving any credible defense).

Yep. Sounds about right.