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Aquaponics developer to plead guilty to fraud charges over purported Brookings facility

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Court records show a Sioux Falls businessman accused of defrauding investors in a scheme to build an $11 million fish farm will plead guilty to wire and mail fraud.

A trial for Tobias Ritesman was set to begin next week, but he’s entered a petition in federal court which says he intends to plead guilty to all 18 counts against him.

Ritesman and his agents began soliciting money from investors in 2016 for Global Aquaponics in Brookings, an indoor seafood farm that would also grow organic vegetables. According to the guilty petition, Ritesman used the funds from investors for his own purposes rather than on the aquaponics development.

A second defendant in the case, Brookings businessman Timothy Burns, is still scheduled for trial next week.

AP-WF-04-18-19 1205GMT

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