Business | Politics

Leech Lake Band seeks land deal to get rid of bad $2.5M loan

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians in Minnesota worked out a land deal to get rid of a bad loan but tribal members didn't like the idea.

Former secretary/treasurer extended a $2.5 million loan to Bill and Kathy Bieloh, the owners of the Moondance Jam company. He did so without the approval of the tribal council and was recalled from office earlier this year.

The tribe, however, is stuck with the loan. Bill Bieloh died and Kathy Bieloh said she won't be able to make the first payment of $460,973.76 next week.

So the tribe worked out a deal to acquire around 48 acres of ancestral land for $600,000. But since the land is worth a lot more, owner Ed Robinson wanted to take over the $2.4 million loan to make up for the cost.

“The Tribal Council is absolving itself of any risks associated with the Moondance loan,” attorney Zenas Baer said at a council meeting, The Bemidji Pioneer reported. “Mr. Robinson has agreed to assume that risk.”

But tribal members booed the idea, the paper said. As a result, tribal leaders tabled the issue.

Get the Story:
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe: Tribal council postpones property purchase decision (The Bemidji Pioneer 9/8)

Related Stories:
Leech Lake Band sets February recall election for council member (1/13)
MPR: Leech Lake Band official faces removal over $2.4M loan deal (1/7)
Leech Lake Band official faces prosecution over loan agreement (11/23)

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