SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Thirty-five foreign investors who sunk a collective $18.5 million into a failed South Dakota beef processing plant have sued the state, saying that officials misrepresented that the project was financially sound.

The investment group's lawsuit against the state's economic development arm, a private company that helped solicit foreign investors and the company's director, Joop Bollen, was filed Wednesday in the Hughes County circuit court.

The suit claims that Northern Beef Packers did not have adequate financing to generate revenue or support additional financing and was already plagued by years of delays. It claims that because the representations were materially false, each investor was unlawfully solicited to invest $530,000 each into the plant.

Bollen declined to comment on the suit. State officials could not immediately be reached.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.