In the latest round of litigation in the controversial Lac Du Flambeau bond default case, the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin has issued an order denying Wells Fargo's motion to vacate the dismissal of its lawsuit and to amend the complaint to add new claims. The Court has confirmed the lower court's ruling that the original agreement between Wells Fargo and the Lac Du Flambeau Tribe was actually a "management contract" that required approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission. Since the NIGC was not consulted and did not approve the agreement in advance, the Trust Indenture between Wells Fargo and the Tribe has been ruled void and unenforceable by the bank.
The Tribe has issued a press release, with Tribal President Jerome "Brooks" Big John stating: "This significant victory confirms the strength of the Tribe's legal position and provides the Lac Du Flambeau Band with further confidence in the Tribe's ability to manage Tribal operations in support of the Tribal membership."
The litigation arose when the Tribe was unable to make scheduled debt service payments on bonds that were issued through Wells Fargo to finance the Tribe's Lake of the Torches casino and resort facility. The Tribe's press release does not indicate the current status of repayment plans.