Law | National | Politics

IRS placed $664K in tax liens on leader of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

A sign on the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Photo from Rolf Blauert / Wikipedia

The longtime leader of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota was hit with $664,373 in tax liens but an attorney said the issue has been resolved.

The tax liens were filed against Chairman Michael Jandreau and his now deceased between 1994 and 2010, The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported. They apparently stemmed from income he earned on the reservation.

"There was a dispute over 'sovereignty' and its impact on tax deductions," tribal attorney Marshall Matz told the paper. "The dispute has been resolved and the lien is being satisfied."

Jandreau's salary is not publicized. Other tribal leaders say they aren't given any information about certain finances.

"He controlled everything," Gayle Ziegler, a former council member, told the paper. "He would never let information out."

A report from Human Rights Watch said the tribe has failed to account for about $25 million in federal funds between 2007 and 2013. Jandreau, who has served as chairman for 36 years, has called the allegations "baseless."

Get the Story:
$664K in tax liens against Lower Brule chairman (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 1/23)

Human Rights Watch Report:
Secret and Unaccountable: The Tribal Council at Brule and Its Impact on Human Rights (January 2015)

Related Stories:
Members of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe try to oust longtime leader (1/21)
Lawmakers concerned about Lower Brule Sioux Tribe allegations (1/19)
Editorial: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe should be open about funds (1/15)
Leader of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe blasts report as 'baseless' (1/13)
Group accuses Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of widespread corruption (1/12)

Join the Conversation