Many of the allegations involve a company set up by a casino executive and developer called Dakota-3, an oil speculation company known as Zenergy, and venture capital firm Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. This trio of parasites worked together to acquire leases for well below market value and then flip them for enormous profit.
The interlinked companies, the documents show, purchased drilling rights to some 42,500 acres of lands owned by individuals and families through dozens of separate small deals. Those rights were ultimately
controlled by Dakota-3, which also purchased from the tribal council drilling rights to another 44,000 acres of lands managed by the council. Altogether, Dakota-3 accumulated rights to about a fifth of the 420,000-odd acres of leasable land on the reservation, having bought much of those rights for as little as $50 per acre and royalties of around 18 percent. At about the same time, records and interviews show, other companies were purchasing drilling rights to land on and near the reservation for $300 to $1,000 per acre plus royalties as high as 22.5 percent.
One of the lawsuits alleges that the difference in the one-time bonus payments, plus the difference in royalty payments, “could mean billions of dollars” over the life of the oil field.