T. Denny Sanford investigation remains open

T. Denny Sanford

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota attorney general’s office and the lawyer for billionaire banker and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford have confirmed in recent court filings that an investigation into Sanford for possible possession of child pornography is still ongoing.

The two sides filed documents last week fighting a South Dakota Supreme Court ruling that would allow some information related to search warrants in the case to become public. As part of his argument, Sanford lawyer Marty Jackley said the probe revealed that his client’s email accounts were hacked.

Assistant Attorney General Paul Swedlund wrote that the existence of an investigation into Sanford should be reason to stop the release of the affidavits that were filed by an agent with the Department of Criminal Investigation in December 2019, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

It was not clear whether the investigation had concluded. Under state law, affidavits used to obtain search warrants don’t have to be made public until a person has been indicted by a grand jury or the investigation has concluded. Sanford has not been charged with a crime.

The Argus Leader and ProPublica went to court for access to the search warrants.

The 86-year-old Sanford is the state’s richest man, worth an estimated $3.4 billion.