- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Two sons of the late frozen food magnate Marvin Schwan will get an opportunity to argue for court oversight of his charitable foundation after about $600 million in investment losses, South Dakota’s Supreme Court said in an opinion released Thursday.

The high court ruled that a circuit court must consider Mark and Paul Schwan’s request for supervision. The two sit on a committee that reviews the administration of the Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation.

The foundation lost about $600 million in offshore ventures, and Mark and Paul Schwan want more details. They said in court documents that other committee members, including some who also serve as foundation trustees, have blocked their efforts.

The lower court ruled in favor of the foundation’s trustees, saying Mark and Paul Schwan didn’t meet the criteria to request supervision. But the Supreme Court disagreed and sent the case back to the circuit court for a hearing.

Blake Shepard, an attorney for the Schwan brothers, said they are grateful for the opportunity to have a hearing on the merits of their petition. An attorney for the foundation’s trustees didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message requesting comment.

The dispute over the foundation also involves the state attorney general’s office, which has the authority to enforce the conditions of a charitable trust. Attorney General Marty Jackley said his office will discuss matters with private counsel.

Marvin Schwan created Schwan’s Sales Enterprises as a milk processing facility in Marshall, Minnesota, in 1948. The business grew to become a leading retail and food delivery business. Schwan, who lived in Sioux Falls, died in 1993 at age 64. At that time of his death, Forbes magazine ranked him as the country’s 70th richest man, worth more than $1 billion.

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