Brookings resident accused of stealing from Loban charity

Nicholas Kleven charged with embezzling more than $14K from memorial foundation

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BROOKINGS — A man who served as treasurer of the Loban Memorial Foundation was indicted Friday and arrested Monday on embezzlement and grand theft charges.

Nicholas Kleven, 45, of Brookings is accused of stealing more than $14,000 from the foundation between 2016 and 2019, according to a Tuesday news release from the Brookings Police Department.

BPD Lt. Joe Fishbaugher wrote that the department responded to a request from the foundation to conduct a criminal investigation into an allegation of embezzlement that was discovered during an internal audit. The foundation's bank records from 2016 to 2023 were obtained and analyzed, revealing discrepancies that, in time, led to Kleven’s indictment and subsequent arrest.

Kleven is due back in a Brookings County courtroom at a later date.

The foundation was established after sisters Ashley Loban, 17, and Amanda Loban, 10, were killed in a traffic accident on May 22, 2006, southeast of Brookings while on their way to school. 

An annual golf tournament was held as a fundraiser with the proceeds going to the Loban Foundation and paid out as $1,500 scholarships to local students. A 2017 Brookings Register article said the foundation had given out 20 scholarships to first-year college students at that time. 

It also detailed donations to the Boys & Girls club and sponsorship of fifth-graders class trip to the Children’s Museum.