December 7, 2021

New Docs Affirm Billionaire T. Denny Sanford Was Topic of Youngster Porn Probe

3 min read


Court docket paperwork launched on Wednesday verify that the richest man in South Dakota, billionaire T. Denny Sanford, is the β€œimplicated particular person” in a toddler porn investigation that started in 2019.

A number of media shops have beforehand reported that Sanford was the topic of the probe, beginning with the investigative reporting outlet ProPublica, which identified him in August 2020.

The formal revelation follows an October choice from the South Dakota Supreme Court docket, which ordered search warrants related to the case unsealed. ProPublica and a neighborhood outlet, the Argus Chief, had sought their launch.

The choice gave Sanford 20 days to file for a rehearing.

Early Wednesday, the court docket launched 285 pages of authorized briefs and paperwork, which repeatedly recognized Sanford by identify.

Sanford, 85, has not been charged with any crimes. His lawyer, former South Dakota Lawyer Normal Marty Jackley, couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

Jackley has beforehand stated, β€œThough we all know little or no about any state or federal inquiry referring to Mr. Sanford, we do know these authorities liable for investigating allegations clearly didn’t discover data or proof that supported or resulted in any felony prices.”

The authorized probe threatens to deal a large reputational blow to Sanford, who was beforehand considered a significant philanthropist, each in South Dakota and nationally.

In 2007, when he was value an estimated $2.8 billion, he famously declared that he needed β€œto die broke” by giving freely all of his cash. He has since doled out lots of of tens of millions of {dollars} to philanthropic causesβ€”a lot of it to his namesake healthcare system, Sanford Well beingβ€”however has nonetheless grown richer. Forbes pegs his present web value at $3.4 billion.

Earlier this week, Sanford Well being made headlines following experiences that its former CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft, was paid greater than $49 million in 2020. Krabbenhoft was pushed into retirement that yr after sending a notice to staff declaring that he wouldn’t put on a masks to work, believing that he couldn’t transmit COVID-19 since he had beforehand contracted the virus.

Even after information of the kid porn investigation turned public, Denny Sanford has continued to dole out money. Sanford Well being accepted a $350 million reward from him in September, and public filings reveal that he gave $1 million to a Koch-affiliated Tremendous PAC, Individuals for Prosperity Motion, over the summer season.

The Tremendous PAC has not responded to a number of inquiries from The Each day Beast over the previous few months.

Sanford’s authorized points started in December 2019, when a legislation enforcement official requested a search warrant associated to his e mail account.

The next spring, South Dakota’s Division of Prison Investigation sought 4 further warrants associated to Sanford’s web and cellphone suppliers, all of which the court docket issued. The search warrants themselves weren’t instantly posted on Wednesday however have been slated to be launched later within the day.

States brokers reportedly thought that they had sufficient proof to cost Sanford however referred the case to federal authorities as a result of the alleged exercise came about throughout a number of states.

The Related Press reported in August that South Dakota might nonetheless cost Sanford if the Division of Justice doesn’t.

It stays to be seen whether or not that may occur.

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