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Land grab cheats North Dakota tribes out of $1 billion, lawsuits allege

Oklahoman Modified: February 26, 2013 at 11:13 am •  Published: February 26, 2013
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Native Americans on an oil-rich reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices — and the federal government failed in its legal obligation to ensure a fair deal, lawsuits claim.




ProPublica reports: A review of tribal and federal records as well as lawsuit documents reveals a dizzying array of lowball, non-competitive deals brokered by numerous companies, often entwined with the tribal council and with individual landholders on the reservation. But at heart the alleged practices are simple: Tribal leaders and outsiders set up companies to buy drilling rights cheap and flip them later for spectacular profits — in one case earning as much as a 200-fold return in just four years.

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