SEC: Scams may target $3.4B Indian settlement

Posted July 29, 2011, at 9:06 p.m.

HELENA, Mont. — The Securities and Exchange Commission warned Native Americans on Friday against scammers who may be coming after their share of a $3.4 billion settlement with the U.S. government.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan on Wednesday gave final approval to the settlement, 15 years in the making and meant to compensate for more than a century of government mismanagement of Native American land royalties.

The first payments are expected to go out to between 300,000 and 550,000 plaintiffs after a 60-day appeals period due to end Sept. 26.

The SEC issued an alert Friday to warn those plaintiffs to watch out for investment scams. Affinity fraud — scams that target particular ethnic or religious groups — usually involves somebody pretending to be part of that ethnic group, or enlists somebody from the ethnic group to help dupe the victim, according to the SEC.

NATO imposes order after Kosovo-Serbia unrest

PRISTINA, Kosovo — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Thursday its troops restored order in northern Kosovo after a group of Serbian youths torched a border crossing, sparking fear of renewed violence between the two Balkan nations.

NATO boosted its presence after soldiers were also shot at in the Serb-dominated part of Kosovo Wednesday, about 62 miles northwest of Pristina, the capital. There were no reported injuries.

The violence started after Kosovo police tried to take control of two border crossings from local Serbian and European Union police. Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci rejected EU criticisms of the move, which led to the death of one Kosovo policeman, saying the operation was in line with international law. The dispute comes as Serbia tries to earn European Union candidate status this year.

Libyan rebels general assassinated

ZINTAN, Libya — Libya’s rebel government announced Friday that its top military chief, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis, was assassinated by its own rebel fighters, who dumped his bullet-riddled and burned body outside Benghazi.

A brigade leader tasked with transporting Younis from the front line near the oil town of Brega to the rebel capital of Benghazi confessed that his lieutenants killed Younis and two aides Thursday, the rebels’ oil and finance minister, Ali Tarhouni, said at a news conference Friday night.

Younis was to appear before a military committee investigating allegations that he had maintained ties with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi after defecting from the government to the rebel side in February.

Tarhouni said the assassins were members of the Abu Obaida Aljarah brigade, one of dozens of autonomous units that answer, more or less, to the central authority of the rebel council. The rebel government offered no motive for the killing.

The deaths have shaken the fractious Transitional National Council, which the United States recently recognized as the sole governing authority in Libya.

The rebel government has been challenged by bickering among political factions and tribes. The news that Younis was killed by his own side shows how stark those divisions are, and the violence will likely sow seeds of doubt among NATO officials and governments supporting the rebel side.

Panel: Local support crucial for nuke waste sites

WASHINGTON — Efforts to replace a disputed nuclear dump in Nevada are doomed unless officials generate local support for alternative sites, a presidential commission said Friday.

In an interim report, the 15-member panel suggests building regional storage sites to warehouse spent nuclear fuel for up to 100 years, while officials seek to build a permanent burial site.

In a move likely to stir opposition in Congress, the panel also recommends that money being paid by nuclear operators for long-term storage be set aside for that purpose, rather than counted against the federal budget deficit. About $750 million a year is paid into the Nuclear Waste Fund, which has a balance of about $25 billion.

Commissioners said they recognize that their recommendations would add to the federal deficit, at least on paper, but noted that the federal government is contractually bound to use the money to manage spent nuclear fuel.

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business