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North Dakota snack company settles lawsuit alleging embezzlement over $1M

Giant Snacks, the North Dakota company known for producing snack sunflower seeds, claimed Lucy Spiekermeier stole or misappropriated more than $1 million.

Giants Snacks HQ
The Giant Snacks headquarters is on the outskirts of Wahpeton, North Dakota. The company produces Giants sunflower seeds.
Forum file photo
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FARGO — Giant Snacks has settled its theft lawsuit with a former executive after the company claimed the woman wrongfully took more than $1 million from the business.

The deadline for both sides of the case to be ready for a civil trial was Sunday, May 1, but the settlement has stopped the potential for any trial.

The Wahpeton, North Dakota, company known for producing snack sunflower seeds dropped its federal case against former Giant Snacks Treasurer and Secretary Lucy Spiekermeier, according to a document detailing a settlement conference held Jan. 24.

The document said the terms of the agreement will remain confidential.

Spiekermeier’s attorney, Robert Stock, said the former executive had no further comment regarding the settlement. Attorneys for Giant Snacks did not immediately return messages left by The Forum seeking comment.

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Giant Snacks, also known as Giants, initially filed the civil suit against Spiekermeier in October 2020, claiming she stole or misappropriated up to $600,000 between 2016 and mid-2020. The company later alleged that figure to be closer to $1.67 million dating back to 2010.

Giant Snacks alleged Spiekermeier wrongfully wrote herself and another unnamed person checks, reimbursed herself and used company funds to pay a student loan while she was the company's treasurer and secretary, according to a civil complaint. The business also claimed Spiekermeier deleted emails and destroyed or altered financial data to conceal the schemes, according to the complaint.

Spiekermeier resigned from her post on Aug. 17, 2020. She faced eight civil counts, including theft, unjust enrichment and fraud.

She was not criminally charged in federal court. In a court filing, Spiekermeier denied stealing or misappropriating Giant Snacks money, altering or destroying financial records, and any other wrongdoing.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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