The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently awarded the Jicarilla Apache Nation $21 million in damages for the Government’s decades-long failure to honor its fiduciary obligations owed to the Jicarilla Apache. In Jicarilla Apache Nation v. United States, the Nation alleged that the Government had failed to prudently invest funds held by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in trust for the Jicarilla Apache when it invested “virtually all” the funds in short-term securities. The Jicarilla Apache also alleged that the Government illegally disbursed the Nation’s funds to pay BIA employees, delayed the deposit of the Nation’s funds into the proper accounts, and allowed the Nation’s trust fund accounts to be overdrawn.
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