- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

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.

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