Former Fargo Agent Arrested in Minn. for Insurance Fraud, Theft

July 20, 2007

An insurance agent accused of defrauding investors has been arrested in Minnesota.

David Skjerven, 60, of Sedona, Ariz., faces charges of theft and insurance fraud. An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month by officials in Norman County, Minn.

Officials of North Dakota’s Cass County also issued an arrest warrant for Skjerven. He is charged there with 38 offenses, including 18 counts of fraudulent practice and 20 counts of property theft, court papers say.

Gary Euren, an assistant Cass County state’s attorney, said the county is waiting for Norman County officials to set Skjerven’s bail.

On the Norman County charges, two Twin Valley families each invested more than $70,000 with Skjerven as early as 1999, but never got any money in return, authorities said.

Skjerven lived earlier in Audubon, Minn., and ran a financial services business in Fargo.

Minnesota officials said Skjerven was arrested Friday after they got a tip that he was in the St. Paul area for his daughter’s wedding.

North Dakota officials ordered Skjerven to stop selling insurance last year after receiving complaints from investors. Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman revoked Skjerven’s insurance license in October.

Skjerven is accused of borrowing more than $2 million from clients in exchange for promissory notes that promised certain rates of return. Clients complained they were not paid.

Euren said the 38 North Dakota counts against Skjerven are Class B felonies. Each carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

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