Judge questions banks selected for Keepseagle settlement

A federal judge is questioning the selection of banks that will hold settlement funds for the Keepseagle case over discrimination at the Department of Agriculture.

The plaintiffs have identified five banks -- including one owned by the Chickasaw Nation -- to hold and invest settlement funds. Judge Emmet Sullivan said more efforts should be made to include Indian and minority-owned banks in the process.

"I would think that's what the plaintiffs' class would want," Sullivan said at a hearing yesterday, The Blog of Legal Times reported.

Four big banks -- Bank of America Corporation, Wells Fargo & Company, Citigroup, Inc. and PNC Financial Services -- would each hold about about $150 million. The tribe's Bank2 will hold about $18 million.

The Obama administration settled the case for $760 million -- $680 million in payments to Indian ranchers and farmers and $80 million for a loan forgiveness fund. The banks are expected to hold the money for about a year to 18 months before it's distributed to Indian ranchers and farmers.

Get the Story:
D.C. Judge Questions Bank Selection in Native American Class Action (The Blog of Legal Times 4/27)

Relevant Documents:
Plaintiffs Press Release | Settlement | Notice Form A | Notice Form B
Damages Award | Loan Debt Relief
Native American Farmers and Ranchers Council | Named Plaintiffs
President Obama Statement | USDA Press Release

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