Legal

Second Osage LLC-related lawsuit on horizon

A second lawsuit is forthcoming regarding the past business activities of the former Osage Limited Liability Company management, according to Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear.

During a June 9 Congressional Commerce and Economic Development Committee meeting, Standing Bear said the statute of limitations is approaching on some questionable LLC business matters executed while Carol Leese was CEO. In May, the Nation – through Osage attorney Amanda Proctor – filed a civil lawsuit in Oklahoma state court against Leese, former LLC CFO Robert Petre and other business entities alleging securities fraud, common law fraud and negligent misrepresentation regarding a 2010 investment totaling more than $1 million.

Standing Bear addressed the Congressional committee as its members considered a motion to enter executive session “to discuss legal matters involving the Osage LLC investigation” as listed on the meeting agenda. He did not specify whom the lawsuit would be against, but noted legal action must be filed before the statute of limitations expires on those LLC business transactions now in question.

“Some claims are already gone and out the door,” Standing Bear said. “The second one, which is coming, is because the statute of limitations against that company and those transactions expires in the middle of July – And there is more after that. The reasons they’re being filed now is the claims must be made to protect the Osage people’s money and right to recover what was stolen from them.”

Leese, who served as the first LLC CEO since 2009, resigned last year amid growing questions about the LLC’s business transactions and money losses from those activities, which included several business purchases, partnerships and passive investments. Leese is now believed to be working for a tribe in Wisconsin, according to the May 22 lawsuit filed in Osage County District Court against him and other entities involved.

As of mid-June, no initial court date is set, but Osage County District Judge John Kane has been assigned to the case, according to state online court records.