Wakpamni Lake Community President Geneva Lone Hill (wife of traditional Chief Mel Lone Hill) conducting an interview...

Posted by Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation on Sunday, May 15, 2016
Geneva Lone Hill serves as president of the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation

Geneva Lone Hill: Economic development in Indian Country

Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation (WLCC) Response To Recent Coverage on The Galanis Bond Fraud

The criminal cases against John Galanis and others were settled nearly two years ago. But because Hunter Biden's name was involved and because of the recent Chicago civil lawsuit the case is back in the news.

Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation and several retirement funds, were the victims of a bond fraud. Our economic development project was and is very real, the bond companies we dealt with were legitimate. But there were criminals working for them behind the scenes.

Once we realized something was wrong, we went to the federal prosecutors.

The US Attorney's Office in New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission conducted a long investigation and charged all the bad actors.

WLCC, our staff, our lawyers, and our business partners, had nothing to do with the fraud. We turned in the criminals and we testified against them.

WLCC, our CEO Raycen Raines, and all our team was exonerated by the federal investigators.

The guilty people are all in jail.

Progress updates on home remodel for one of our Community Elder and Veteran's home.

Posted by Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

After the criminal cases were finished, the investors that lost money started filing lawsuits against different people and companies to try and get some of their money back. The Chicago lawsuit from last week is another one of those cases filed.

Neither the Oglala Sioux Tribe nor Wakpamni District are liable. They were not parties to the bond.

WLCC, nor our staff Mr. Raines, nor our business partner Mr. Haynes are defendants in the Chicago lawsuit.

But the Chicago lawyers still made many statements which are wrong.

We understand the investors are devastated and doing everything they can to file lawsuits against whomever they can. We as Lakotas know better than almost anyone how it feels to be targeted and wronged. As retirees, as elders, our hearts hurt for their losses.

But we too are victims and false statements in the Chicago complaint re-victimizes us.

New roof installed and ceiling panels replaced in the community building before winter arrives.

Posted by Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation on Saturday, October 26, 2019

Statements in a complaint by an upset party does not change the facts of the case that were thoroughly investigated by the federal government, litigated in federal criminal court, and the guilty people were sent to jail.

We are not defendants in the Chicago lawsuit and are not going to get drawn into their legal arguments, but there are many organizational and factual inaccuracies their non-Tribal lawyers are stating their claims from.

Mr. Raines and Mr. Haynes are not our “financiers.” Mr, Raines is our staff, he is our CEO. Mr. Haynes was hired by us to be our project developer as we have all worked together successfully in the past.

WLCC does not “exercise undue influence over” the Wakpamni Lake Community. The Wakpamni Lake Community owns WLCC. WLCC is the wholly owned economic development arm of the Wakpamni Lake Community tasked with creating new income, new employment, new infrastructure and new services for the benefit of our Tribal Community members.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) is the tribe. Under the tribe there are Districts and Community governments. The OST constitution and code give Districts and Communities their own authority to pursue economic development.

The OST Council got in a political fight with former OST President Bryan Brewer. President Brewer had asked our CEO to assist him with some of his economic development projects, including TED Bonds. When the OST Council tried to impeach President Bewer they passed a resolution also stopping business with our CEO. WLCC and OST are separate. Regardless of OST’s decision, Mr. Raines always kept his authority with WLCC as our CEO. We never issued TED bonds.

OST never voted against our bond project. Some investors asked for a resolution of support from OST, so we asked OST for it. The OST Council and the OST Economic & Business Development Committee members told us and our lawyers that WLCC already had the authority to do it and they were not going to waste time passing a resolution saying something we could already do. The tribe’s lawyer sent us a formal letter stating that.

Our economic development project for this bond was to complete a planned set of commercial and community buildings known as the Town Center that would include businesses for the commercial buildings generating income and employment. The buildings did not get completed. But not due to mismanagement of funds by WLCC. EVERY single dollar WLCC spent on the project was accounted for. They didn't get completed because we discovered the fraud and promptly turned them in during the middle of constructing our project. We then we gave the last bit of bond money for the construction project that we had to US Bank the bond trustee, to do an investigation of the bad actors.

We understand the retirement funds are upset. We have also been devastated by this fraud, but now we are being re-victimized all over again by the Chicago complaint with the many false statements.

Even though we were the victims, and our team did nothing wrong, this hangs over Indian Country and our Community every day. We had to put all our economic projects on hold when the news articles came out two years ago, and now maybe we will have to again as the inaccurate claims draw out the emotions and not the logic from those that read the complaints.

It is hard enough to do economic development on rural isolated Indian reservations without having falsehoods on top of the fraud. Please read the facts of the actual government case. Please ask us directly if you have any questions. ​ Thank you.

Geneva Lone Hill serves as president of the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation, the wholly-owned economic development arm of the Wakpamni Lake Community tasked with creating new income, new employment, new infrastructure and new services for members of the Wakpamni Lake Community on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She can be reached at glonehill@gmail.com​.
Greenberg Traurig
The Greenberg Traurig firm has issued a statement in connection with the lawsuit. It follows:

"The fraud perpetuated against WLCC was a tragedy for all. WLCC was a victim of the fraud and its attorneys did not assist the fraud in any way. That is shown by the fact that neither WLCC or its attorneys were charged in the criminal proceedings against the wrong doers who have pleaded guilty.”

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