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Brookings man on trial in fish farm scheme

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A second South Dakota businessman accused of defrauding investors in a scheme to build an $11 million fish farm is on trial in federal court.

Timothy Burns is charged with wire fraud and aiding and abetting for his alleged role in soliciting investors for Global Aquaponics in Brookings.

Businessman Tobias Ritesman pleaded guilty to all 18 counts against him last week. Five charges against Burns involve two $50,000 checks and three $25,000 checks sent by investors in October 2016. Burns’ attorney told jurors Tuesday that Burns genuinely thought the project would be successful and invested his own money in the operation.

But, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Hoffman told the jury Burns knowingly participated in a scheme to steal money and use it for his own interests.

AP-WF-04-24-19 1215GMT

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