Distribution company pleads guilty for selling to tribe

A non-Indian distribution company has pleaded guilty for failing to pay a tax on gasoline it sold to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas.

Davies Oil sold gas to the tribe without collecting a distribution tax imposed by the state. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, later ruled the tax was valid because it was place on non-Indian companies and not on the tribe itself.

Davies Oil will pay restitution of $846,113 to the state as a result of pleading guilty. The money will come from an escrow account that the state created after seizing $696,571 from the company.

Separately, the state of Kansas brought criminal charges against officials and business executives of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Ho-Chunk Inc., the tribe's economic development corporation, was selling gas to tribes in Kansas without collecting the aforementioned distribution tax.

The issue recently went before the Kansas Supreme Court. Lance Morgan, the CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., told Indianz.Com that the arguments went well and appeared to go in the tribe's favor.

Ho-Chunk Inc. owns Indianz.Com and its sister e-commerce site, AllNative.Com.

Get the Story:
Oil company must pay $850,000 for reservation sales (The Topeka Capital-Journal 5/19)

Wagnon v. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation:
Syllabus | Opinion [Thomas] | Dissent [Ginsburg]

Supreme Court Documents:
Day Call | Docket Sheet | Questions Presented

Court Briefs:
Richard v. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (NCAI-NARF Supreme Court Project)

Lower Court Decision:
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation v. Richards (10th Circuit August 2004)

Relevant Links:
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation -
NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project -
Multistate Tax Commission -

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