Authorities have dropped two of three felony charges against a Killdeer man accused of defrauding an oil field company he worked for of more than $5 million.
Shawn Kluver still faces a charge of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, but a Southwest District Court judge has dropped two counts of theft after a prosecutor sought to dismiss those charges. A trial is scheduled for August, and the dispute is the subject of several lawsuits.
The charges are related to Kluver’s relationship with Environmental Driven Solutions. He became part-owner of the Killdeer-based oil field service provider in 2015, later giving up his ownership rights but staying on as an employee, according to an affidavit signed by North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Matthew Hiatt.
The document says Kluver used several bank accounts to “steal and defraud” the business and that he sold oil through the company while “profiting on the sales” by using the account of a separate company he had established.
He set up a saltwater-related business, and the 82-year-old owner of Environmental Driven Solutions put up a bond of $300,000, according to the affidavit. Kluver then changed the paperwork, making himself the sole owner of the saltwater company, according to the document, which goes on to outline other ways in which he allegedly defrauded his business partners.
Kluver, Environmental Driven Solutions and other connected parties became involved in civil litigation in recent years. Two lawsuits stemming from 2018 remain open. In one, Kluver sued Environmental Driven Solutions seeking to recover money he says the company owes him. Shortly thereafter the business sued him, among others, accusing him of participating in a scheme to defraud the company.
Kluver’s attorneys sought to have the criminal charges against him dismissed, saying the issues would be more appropriately dealt with through the lawsuits.
Although District Judge Dann Greenwood dismissed the two theft charges after the prosecutor asked for them to be dropped, he denied Kluver’s request that would also have eliminated the exploitation charge, concluding that Kluver had not met the bar for such an action.
Dunn County State’s Attorney Stephanie Davis declined to comment on the matter. Her motion to dismiss cites “prosecutorial discretion” as the reason for dismissing the charges but does not elaborate.
Attorneys for Kluver did not respond to a request for comment.