SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says lending companies operated by Native American tribes are subject to investigation by a government regulator.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Friday rejected a claim by three tribes that their lending companies were protected by tribal sovereignty from investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A three-judge panel of the court said Congress did not exclude tribes from the bureau's enforcement authority.
At issue in the ruling were for-profit lending companies created by three tribes — the Chippewa Cree, Tunica Biloxi and Otoe Missouria.
The Chippewa Cree's lending company, Plain Green, has been accused of predatory loan practices — a claim that company officials deny.
An email to an attorney for the tribes was not immediately returned.