Koch front-group, Concerned Veterans for America, is pushing new outreach efforts to Native American communities. But the Concerned Veterans are apparently unconcerned with how the Koch brothers have hurt and exploited Native Americans for years.
Not only has CVA lobbied for privatization of veterans’ healthcare and other policies that are bad for vets, but with nearly all of their funding coming from the Kochs, it’s their interests they are focused on first and foremost. Those interests have regularly abused the Native American commuity.
Some of the Koch fortune (Forbes puts Charles and David Koch’s net worth at about $40 billion each) that makes possible the brothers’ hefty contributions to conservative causes came fromcheating American Indian tribes out of oil royalties 30 years ago. An investigation begun in 1988 by a select committee of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs comprised of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) and Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) found that Koch Oil had cheated American Indian tribes out of millions of dollars in royalties by intentionally and consistently lying about how much crude they had taken out of storage tanks on Indian lands.
Testimony from the investigation revealed that the “theft was widespread” and the Kochs lied about how much oil they stole nearly 25,000 times.
The Koch brothers’ exploitation of Native American communities is par for the course. Over the years, the Kochs have taken advantage of anyone who they could in order to make a buck. They don’t care what the human cost of building their profit is as long as their pocketbooks continue to grow. Now, their front-group is trying to convince the same group to vote for candidates that will act as Koch puppets, supporting policies that continue to rig the system to the advantage of billionaires and big oil like Koch Industries.
The Kochs Have A History Of Cheating Native Americans To Line Their Pockets
Koch Oil Engaged In A “Widespread And Sophisticated Scheme To Steal Crude Oil From Indians”
Indian Country Today: “Koch Oil, The Largest Purchaser Of Indian Oil In The Country, Was Engaged In A Widespread And Sophisticated Scheme To Steal Crude Oil From Indians And Others Through Fraudulent Mismeasuring And Misreporting.” According to Indian Country Today, “An investigation begun in 1988 by a select committee of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs comprised of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) and Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) found that Koch Oil had cheated American Indian tribes out of millions of dollars in royalties by intentionally and consistently lying about how much crude they had taken out of storage tanks on Indian lands. The committee issued its report (Senate Report 101-216) in 1989: ‘Koch Oil, the largest purchaser of Indian oil in the country, was engaged in a widespread and sophisticated scheme to steal crude oil from Indians and others through fraudulent mismeasuring and misreporting.’” [Indian Country Today, 10/28/14]
1989: A U.S. Senate Investigation Found That Koch Industries’ Oil Theft Was “Widespread And Pervasive” Leaving Indian Communities “Horribly Victimized”
In May Of 1989, The Senate Held Hearings Into Koch Industries’ Theft Of Oil On American Indian Reservations Which Cheated The Federal Government Out Of Royalties. According to Bloomberg Business, “The Senate held hearings in May 1989 after Bill Koch, David Koch’s twin brother, told a U.S. Senate special committee on investigations that Koch Industries was stealing oil on American Indian reservations, cheating the federal government of royalties.” [Bloomberg Business, 10/3/11]
- An FBI Investigatory Found That Theft Was “Widespread And Pervasive, And These People Are Being Horribly Victimized.” According to Bloomberg Business, “The Senate committee sent investigators to Oklahoma to secretly observe oil companies, including Koch, buying crude on Indian land. The federal agents hid in ditches, crouched behind scrub cedars and ducked behind cows to avoid detection by Koch Oil’s purchasers, FBI agent Richard Elroy testified to the committee in May 1989. ‘Theft is Widespread’ […] ‘The theft is widespread and pervasive, and these people are being horribly victimized,’ Elroy testified.” [Bloomberg Business, 10/3/11]
1999: In A Lawsuit Filed Against Koch Industries, A Jury Found The Company Guilty Of Underpaying Close To 25,000 Times For Oil On Native American Land
In 1999, Bill Koch Brought A Lawsuit On Behalf Of U.S. Taxpayers Which Claimed Koch Industries’ Scheme Defrauded The Government Of Royalties.” According to Bloomberg Business, “Bill Koch brought a lawsuit on behalf of U.S. taxpayers, claiming that Koch Industries’ scheme defrauded the government of royalties. The case came to trial in 1999.” [Bloomberg Business, 10/3/11]
- Bill Koch: Charles “Made A Fortune Stealing Oil… From Beneath Indian Reservations And Federal Lands.”According to CBS News, “Bill Koch says that his brother Charles made a fortune stealing oil. Much of it from beneath Indian reservations and federal lands – places like national forests. Oil under federal lands belongs to the public. Koch Industries was the middleman – buying oil from the government at the well – then selling it to refineries. Bill Koch says that the company took more oil than it paid for by cheating on measurements.” [CBS News, 11/27/00]
- Bloomberg Business: Former Koch Industries Employees “Testified That Koch Industries Trained Them To Steal.” According to Bloomberg Business, “Former company employees testified that Koch Industries trained them to steal. Phil Dubose, who worked for Koch Industries from 1968 to 1994, told the jury how the scheme worked. ‘The Koch Method is to cheat the producer out of crude oil,’ he said. He testified that he was able to steal 2,000 barrels a month from one customer. ‘You used every available tool to mismeasure the crude oil in Koch’s favor,’ says Dubose, who is now retired.” [Bloomberg Business, 10/3/11]
The Jury Found Koch Industries “Made 24,587 False Claims In Buying Oil, Underpaying The U.S. Government For Royalties On Native American Land From 1985 To 1989.” According to Bloomberg Business, “Two days before Christmas 1999, the jury delivered the verdict: Koch Industries had made 24,587 false claims in buying oil, underpaying the U.S. government for royalties on Native American land from 1985 to 1989.” [Bloomberg Business, 10/3/11]
2001: Koch Industries Settled The Case For $25 Million
Koch Industries Paid $25 Million To Settle The Case In 2001. According to CBS News, “In May, 2001, Bill Koch and Koch Industries announced a legal settlement of all their disputes, effectively putting an end to the two-decade family feud. The settlement calls for Koch Industries to pay $25 million in penalties to the U.S. government for improperly taking more oil than it paid for from federal and Indian lands.” [CBS News, 11/27/00]
- The Guilty Verdict Exposed Koch Industries To $215 Million In Total Damage Liability. According to Indian Country Today, “In 1999, a jury returned a verdict of guilty against Koch Industries. ‘The jury found that Koch Industries made 24,587 false claims during the late 1980s, resulting in $553,504 in underpayment of royalties owed to the government and tribes, said Bill Koch’s spokesman, Brad Goldstein,’ the Wichita Eagle reported. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News wrote, ‘The Wichita-based company could be held liable for about $215 million in total damages for filing false claims that caused underpayment of oil royalties to government agencies and federally protected tribes.’” [Indian Country Today, 10/28/14]
Koch Industries Maintained That Their Business Practices Were Legitimate
Koch Industries Maintained That Their Business Practices In This Case Were Legitimate. According to Indian Country Today, “Koch Industries continues to maintain that its dealings with American Indian tribes in the late 1980s were above-board. Koch Industries spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia provided a statement to ICTMN: ‘No oil was ‘stolen’ and there was no finding of theft in this case. This case, originally filed in 1989 by an individual who had sued the company repeatedly and unsuccessfully in the 1980s, involved oil measurement practices by Koch during the 1970s and 1980s on Federal and Indian lands. It went to trial in 1999. Given the imprecision involved with field conditions and hand gauging to measure oil during this time period, we believe that our practices were consistent with, and in many respects, better than industry practice. In fact, our customers, including the producers, pumpers, and royalty owners, who testified at the trial, said if they ever had any issues with Koch’s measurements, they raised questions and any issues were resolved amicably by agreement. No evidence was introduced that Koch intentionally mismeasured oil on Federal and Indian lands. … After more than a week of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict against Koch.’” [Indian Country Today, 10/28/14]