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8th Circuit Hears Appeal Sept. 23 on Hutterite-Sveen Case with EB-5 Connections

An eager reader alerts us to an important judicial proceeding coming up this month:

On Tuesday, September 23, 9:30 a.m., at the Law School in Vermillion, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Hutterville Hutterian Brethren, et al v. Jeffrey Sveen, Rodrick Tobin, and Harvey Jewett in a RICO conspiracy action which argues Sveen, Tobin, and Jewett caused injury to the Hutterian Brethren though a pattern or racketeering and the law firm of Seigel, Barnett and Schutz, LLP, operated their law firm as a racketeering enterprise, and engaged in predicate acts of mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, interstate transportation of stolen goods, document tampering and obstruction. The proceeding will be open to the public [informed commenter, Madville Times, 2014.09.02].

Adding political spice to the hearing is counsel for the Hutterite faction fighting the oppression of certain Republican cronies, David Olsen:

Arguing for Hutterville will be David Olsen, of Henson & Efron, out of Minnesota. Readers may recall Olsen represented Jesse Ventura in a recent defamation case against a Navy Seal turned author with Ventura winning his case [comment, 2014.09.02].

Olsen has thrown fearless bombs at defendants Jeffrey Sveen and Harvey Jewett and their SDGOP pal Sara Frankenstein as they have played dirty tricks in unsuccessful attempts to besmirch his professional reputation and keep him from defending Hutterites and Indians from their predations.

With the spice come the meat and potatoes of an EB-5 connection:

It's not every day the law school kids can get to see a member of the SD Board of Regents tried in a RICO action. Or a case where our State Auditor's family law firm is called a criminal enterprise. And it's many of the same players in EB5 [comment, 2014.09.02].

While Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard hope that everyone else plays State-Fair-dumb and doesn't bring up EB-5 or Northern Beef Packers for the rest of the campaign, the Eighth Circuit may rekindle public attention to the complicated connections among EB-5, Northern Beef Packers, and Jeff Sveen and his Hutterite-supplied Dakota Provisions turkey plant in Huron.

And while the EB-5 issue may not be central to the RICO arguments offered September 23, recall that Sveen secured EB-5 money for Dakota Provisions and played a role in Northern Beef Packers' EB-5 financing, and that both operations may have violated EB-5 rules by using those foreign investments for mere loan refinancing instead of job creation.

The Hutterville-Sveen-Dakota Provisions-Northern Beef Packers-EB-5 web is all too complicated for a two-minute campaign debate response. It will require some more 3,000-word reports from Mercer, Montgomery, et al. as they sit in on one of the most important judicial proceedings of this campaign season... followed the next day by what could be an equally interesting hearing on EB-5 and Northern Beef Packers before the Government Operations and Audit Committee of the South Dakota Legislature.


  1. Tim 2014.09.03

    If Rep Wismer doesn't stay on point, we all know what that GOAC meeting will be, more republican whitewashing.

  2. David Newquist 2014.09.03

    Sveen wrote the articles of incorporation for many Hutterite colonies in northeastern South Dakota. He named himself as official agent for them. He wrote both the articles for the Hutterian Brethern and their opponents, making both non-profit corporations possessors of the same land and was official agent for both. The Brethern finally fired him and appointed one of their elders as agent. There is substance to this case and it exposes how some law firms operate and that justice is given little consideration in their practice.

  3. Ken Santema 2014.09.03

    This goes back to the decades long war between the traditionalist (Gibbs) and progressive (Oilers). Hutterville is unique in the fact that it is the remaining colony that is split between the two factions. Since the SD Supreme Court wouldn't follow state law on corporations (due to an odd interpretation of freedom of religion), it created a circumstance where both sides in the ongoing war are basically in a weird lawless limbo. If George's side wins this (named Hutterville Hutterian Brethren in this case, the control of that name is still in dispute) it will go against the previous rulings that said the State can't get involved in this religious war. But, I've spoken to someone who said such a loss for Jonny's side (Sveen, Tobin, and Jewitt) may actually hurt George and the Oilers long-term. In that case the State would actually be getting involved, and then George may find out the alleged illegal activities his side has been doing can no longer be ignored by the County Sheriff.

    All of this could have been avoided if the SD Supreme Court had just dissolved the Corporation and ordered the assets split during the case a couple years ago. By not doing that it has left this colony in a unique, and sometimes hazardous condition.

  4. bearcreekbat 2014.09.03

    The plot thickens!

  5. bearcreekbat 2014.09.03

    Having reviewed the district court ruling, as linked by Cory, it appears that the issues on appeal will have no bearing on the EB5 problem nor on the conduct of any of the defendants. Instead, it appears the issues are (1) whether a federal court has jurisdiction to resolve religious differences of the Hutterite group, and (2) whether the individual Plaintiffs have standing to sue Sveen, et al., aside from Plaintiffs' involvement with the Hutterite group. These two arcane questions are not likely to generate any controversy over EB5 and related issues.

  6. wal 2014.09.03

    The saga just goes on and on. It is disturbing to me that Sveen did not step down as Chairman of the Board of Dakota Provisions while this case was going on. I don't think I would like a Chairman of my company to have Rico and Racketeering charges hanging over his head and not expect the Chairman to at least step back pending the outcome. Sveen is a lawyer and should have done the right thing. I believe that Sveen and others have taken advantage of many of the Hutterites.

  7. 96 Tears 2014.09.03

    wal - Exactly! The tie-in to EB-5 is by involvement in the little empire Sveen appears to have been building. The universe of criminality is bigger than Rounds' EB-5 operation. Rounds and his inner circle were bit players in a much wider scheme that foolishly got in big trouble with hundreds of Chinese and other overseas investors who got screwed.

    Rounds' operatives were trying to horn in on Rounds' failed Hyperion project in Union County and on the Keystone XL Pipeline. With reckless ambitions like that, don't be surprised by anything as this universe gets exposed over the next couple years.

  8. wal 2014.09.03

    Now that SD is not the hot bed of EB-5 Investors where are these same players consulting, advising or working with others in the design of other potential areas and investments? I think checking out the activities and actions in Colorado or New Mexico as it pertains to Keystone just might be interesting.

  9. larry kurtz 2014.09.03

    'eb-5 south dakota' returns over 1300 news results.

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