Feds misplace Indians’ funds
The records pertaining to billions of dollars of American Indian trust funds are missing, and a court investigator is accusing attorneys from the Departments of Justice and Interior of disrupting his quest to find out why.
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INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY reports that Interior and Treasury Department officials were found in contempt of court after Alan Barlan, the investigator, charged they failed to comply with a court order to produce pertinent documents. Their lawyers claimed the documents were unpresentable, having been inexplicably covered in mouse feces.
The class action lawsuit started in 1996, when Indian plaintiffs sought to force the government to cough up an explanation for $2.4 billion of unreconciled tribal trust funds. General Accounting Office and Interior Department reports also show the federal government has been irresponsible to the beneficiaries of these accounts.