Facebook Twitter

Financial adviser for Ute Tribe denies wrongdoing

SHARE Financial adviser for Ute Tribe denies wrongdoing

DENVER — A former financial adviser for the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah is denying allegations that he breached his fiduciary duties to the tribe, and says he instead helped the tribe achieve "unprecedented financial success."

The tribe filed suit in September in U.S. District Court in Denver against John P. Jurrius, The Jurrius Group LLP and the Jurrius Ogle Group LLC.

According to the lawsuit, Jurrius entered an agreement with the tribe in December 2000, in which he would earn $600,000 a year for financial consulting and to help the tribe develop business opportunities.

The tribe contends the agreement allowed Jurrius to invest his own money in the tribe's investments, but that Jurrius instead acted as an investor without putting in any of his own money.

The suit lists claims including fraud and breach of fiduciary duties, and seeks restitution and compensatory damages.

The defendants denied wrongdoing in documents filed Monday, saying they acted properly and in the tribe's interest.

"When the Tribe retained the Jurrius parties, the tribe had severe financial problems and limited revenues and liquidity," the defendants said in court records. "The Jurrius parties, through tremendous effort, skill and creativity, not only resolved the financial difficulties but enabled the tribe to achieve unprecedented financial success."

The defendants also filed a counterclaim alleging the tribe breached its obligation to pay them monthly fees and other compensation.

They say the tribe's governing body is now controlled by different members than those who hired and worked with them. They claim the new members wrongfully terminated Jurrius and concocted the lawsuit to avoid paying them.