Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

About 350K to share in first round of Cobell settlement payout





About 350,000 Indian beneficiaries across the nation are expected to share in the first round of payments from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement, attorneys for the late Elouise Cobell said on Monday.

The first round will be a $1,000 payment to settle historical accounting claims. The money is expected to go out before Christmas.

“We all are happy that this settlement can finally be implemented,” lead counsel Dennis Gingold said in a press release yesterday “We deeply regret that Ms. Cobell did not live to see this day.”

An estimated 50,000 Indian beneficiaries in Oklahoma are expected to receive the $1,000 payment. Another 30,000 in Arizona are also slated to benefit.

About 5,400 Alaska Natives are also a part of the settlement. However, their share is likely to come from the portion of the settlement that addresses trust administration, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The trust administration payment will come to a minimum of $800. But many will receive additional funds based on the level of activity in his or her trust fund account.

In total, $1.5 billion was set aside for the historical accounting and the trust administration classes of the settlement. The trust administration payments will come in a second round at a later date.

Additionally, the Interior Department will spend $1.9 billion to buy fractionated interests from Indian landowners. The land consolidation program is entirely voluntary -- any land purchases will be returned to tribal governments.

Get the Story:
Payments to begin soon for Indian trust account holders (The Oklahoman 11/27)
Historic Native American Class Action 'Finally Has Ended' (The Blog of Legal Times 11/26)
Feds Finalize Cobell Settlement With Tribes (KPBS 11/26)
Some Alaska Natives included in Cobell land, trust settlement (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 11/26)
$3.4 billion Indian land royalty lawsuit ends after nearly 17 years, checks to be disbursed (AP 11/26)

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