Executives indicted for fish farm investment fraud
BROOKINGS (AP) — Two executives of a company with plans to build an aquaponics farm in Brookings have been indicted on wire and mail fraud.
Federal prosecutors say Tobias Ritesman and Timothy Burns misled potential investors about the viability of Global Aquaponics. An indictment says investors were told that a nearly $11 million high-tech farm would be built in Brookings to grow fish and shrimp. The water from the fish tanks would be used to grow vegetables.
The Argus Leader reports Assistant U.S. Attorney Annie Hoffman says a memorandum to investors said the company had $5.6 million in cash, which was not true. Another $5.4 million would come from investors. Hoffman says the defendants used the investor funds for their own purposes, not for the project. Ritesman has been released on signature bond. Burns has a hearing Friday.