Paskenta Band seeks to freeze assets in connection with $6M theft

A sign on the Paskenta Nomlaki Reservation in California. Photo: Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians is getting another shot at freezing the assets of a former official and two former employees who have been accused of stealing $6 million from the California tribe.

The tribe filed a civil lawsuit against former treasurer Leslie Lohse and former employees John Crosby and Ines Crosby, along with numerous other individuals and entities believed to have participated in and benefited from the theft of millions of dollars. But a federal judge refused to grant an order to freeze the assets of the defendants.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, has cleared the tribe to try again. An unpublished decision issued on Monday noted that the judge failed to explain why he refused to freeze the assets.

“We are pleased with the Ninth Circuit’s decision to vacate the district court’s order and look forward to this action helping to protect tribal assets that were wrongfully appropriated by these individuals,” said attorney Stuart Gross, whose firm is representing the Paskenta Band.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals on YouTube: Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians v. Ines Crosby

The 9th Circuit's decision comes just four days after federal prosecutors announced a whopping 69 charges against Lohse and the Crosbys. While the trio are innocent until proven guilty, the tribe took the indictment as a vindication of the allegations in the civil lawsuit.

Lohse, who was eventually voted out of office, and Ines Crosby are sisters. John Crosby is the son of Ines. They have not yet entered appearances in response to the criminal charges, according to a review of electronic records.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the 9th Circuit proceeding, Paskenta Band v. Crosby.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
PPaskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians v. Crosby (January 9, 2017)

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