No state charge for billionaire Sanford in child porn probe

Litigation Regulations

The South Dakota attorney general’s office has declined to file charges against billionaire T. Denny Sanford following an investigation into possible possession of child pornography, saying it found no “prosecutable offenses” within the state’s jurisdiction, according to a court document filed Friday.

Sanford, a banker turned philanthropist, is the state’s richest man and has donated billions to hospitals, universities and charities. South Dakota investigators in 2019 began searching his email account, as well as his cellular and internet service providers, for possible possession of child pornography after his accounts were flagged by a technology firm.

The attorney general’s office said in Friday’s court filing that the “South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation has completed its investigation ... and has determined that there are no prosecutable offenses within the jurisdiction of the State of South Dakota.”

The attorney general’s office had no comment beyond the court filing.

“Mr. Sanford appreciates the public acknowledgement by the SD Attorney General’s office that the DCI has concluded its investigation and they have found no prosecutable crime,” Marty Jackley, Sanford’s attorney, said via text.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg had earlier requested the involvement of federal law enforcement. A state filing in January said both state and federal investigations were continuing at the time. The Department of Justice declined to comment Friday when asked if a federal investigation is ongoing.

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USCIS to Continue Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is continuing to implement the June 28, 2018, Policy Memorandum (PM), Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (PDF, 140 KB).

USCIS may issue NTAs as described below based on denials of I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status; I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions); I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions when the beneficiary is present in the US; I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with the underlying form types listed above).

If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States.