Tribe goes to court to get back Fiji loan

The Snoqualmie Tribe filed a lawsuit last Tuesday, May 27, in King County Superior Court, seeking to recover $1.5 million, interest and fees from an investment in a Fiji resort and casino project.

The lawsuit names Larry Claunch and three of his business entities associated with a Fiji investment project as defendants.

“We have been trying for months to recover the $1.5 million without having to file suit,” said Carolyn Lubenau, the Chairwoman of the Snoqualmie Tribal Council.  “But no one responded to the Tribe’s demand.  The note is past due and must be repaid in full.”

The lawsuit alleges that representatives of the tribe were approached with a proposal to invest in a new casino and resort project in Fiji in mid-2011 and, based on recommendations from a tribal delegation that visited Fiji in December 2011, the Snoqualmie Tribal Council approved a loan.

“Our goal with this lawsuit is to recover the that it can be used to benefit our tribal members here at home,” Lubenau said.

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie Tribal members were signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott with the Washington territory in 1855. The Tribe owns and operates the Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie. For more information, visit


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