Cobell case over!

The famous Cobell class action case, first filed in 1996, in which up to 500,000 Indian plaintiffs sued the United States for mismanagement of their trust assets, is finally over.

A federal judge approved yesterday the $3.4 billion settlement between the U.S. government and American Indians who sued 15 years ago over mismanagement of their trust accounts.

Barring an appeal, nearly half a million Indians could begin receiving $1,000 checks within three or four months.

U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan’s approval of the settlement came after a daylong hearing in a packed courtroom in which he listened to about a dozen opponents of the settlement.

“The process has gone on long enough,” Hogan said after summing up the bitter legal struggles between the government and Indians.

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